UC Berkeley is part of a new initiative that will soon make cloud-based file storage and management available to students, faculty, and staff. The service will be provided as part of a two-year agreement between Internet2 — a consortium of leading U.S. research and educational organizations – and Box.com – a commercial online file sharing and storage service. A small group of users from multiple research campuses are currently piloting Box.com. Berkeley plans to deploy a pilot on campus during the fall semester, with the goal of providing access more broadly to campus users in Spring 2012. With this agreement, Berkeley joins universities such as Cornell, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Notre Dame that are participating in similar pilots.
The initiative is part of the Operational Excellence (OE) Productivity Suite effort and supports several important Productivity Suite goals.
- It is a key component of the goal to provide universally acquired and deployed solutions to all members of the campus community.
- It establishes a cloud-based campus wide solution that will support integration with current environments, including document storage, imaging, and collaboration applications.
- It will provide safe, secure, and inexpensive storage that allows every member of the community to share files and collaborate on documents with anyone in the world with no additional software needed.
- It will eventually help replace current solutions that are reaching the end of their life cycles, such as the AFS deployment.
The Information Services & Technology (IST) – Campus Technology Services will oversee the Box.net project, with Patrick McGrath taking functional ownership and Yau-Man Chan as CTS technical lead.