Amazon Web Services has committed to making it easier for scientists to use its cloud storage, computing, and database services by waiving data egress fees for qualified researchers and academic customers. Scientists will be able to launch their first computing machine in minutes, analyze data pipelines, and store petabytes of data in the cloud, ultimately accelerating time-to-science.

"The increased adoption of cloud services will improve the quality and impact of science and widen the participation in research and innovation. We greatly value the collaboration with our partners in research and education and with Amazon, to bring this benefit to the GÉANT community", Steve Cotter, CEO of GÉANT.

Cloud computing – on-demand delivery of IT resources on a pay-as-you-go basis – offers huge opportunity for millions of users. Its benefits include reduced capital investment, economies of scale, faster setup and improved agility, and the ability to reach global audiences quickly and easily.

So why the hesitation from research and education in adopting cloud services more widely? One concern is that the payment structures offered by cloud providers are too unpredictable, leading to fear of large bills particularly from ‘data egress’ – the cost of data coming off cloud provider services onto the internet. Given the vast – and growing – amount of data being moved around by research and education users, this large variable cost is a genuine concern – particularly when financial models are often dictated by funding rounds.

Therefore the decision of Amazon Web Services (AWS), following extensive consultation with Jisc and GÉANT, to waive data egress charges represents what could be an important step towards widespread adoption by the R&E community of cloud services in Europe.

Further information can be found in the blog from Amazon Web Services.

Commenting on this milestone, GÉANT CEO Steve Cotter said, "This represents a step-change in the procurement and delivery of cloud services for the over 50 million users of GÉANT and our European national network partners. This will also help maximise the growth of our European Digital Economy."

Support to Cloud Services in the GÉANT (GN4-1) Project

Amazon Web Services is part of GÉANT’s cloud catalogue – a growing resource for the European research and education community with a structured listing of over 15 service providers and 25 different cloud services. It provides NRENs with a quick and easy guide and aims to clarify the capabilities of providers and their capabilities, helping in the procurement of cloud services. More information.


GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related e-infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness. The organisation develops, delivers and promotes advanced network and associated e-infrastructure services, and supports innovation and knowledge-sharing amongst its members, partners and the wider research and education networking community.