European Space Agency (ESA) Builds Its ESA Cloud, Private Cloud Platform With Red Hat

European Space Agency (ESA) has developed an on-premise, private cloud infrastructure – partially utilizing Red Hat Enterprise Linux – that offers advanced IT services for the agency’s user communities. ESA’s IT department has to support users operating across Europe who need specific applications, which – along with their data – must be available at all times.

ESA’s mission is to ensure that investments in space developments are used to benefit all European citizens. Its employees and service providers manage the IT infrastructure and services necessary for everyday corporate activities and offer advanced solutions to restricted groups of power users who need the highest levels of service availability.

cloud-hostingTo meet its requirements, ESA decided to develop a private cloud infrastructure, called ESA Cloud. This cloud infrastructure is based on VCE systems, on a blade x86 architecture, and is managed entirely by Orange Business Services. ESA chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux as one of the platforms supported in the ESA Cloud.

The ESA IT department hosts a variety of services and environments in the ESA cloud, including:

  • Software development and testing environments
  • Satellite data reprocessing environments
  • Document management systems
  • More traditional corporate IT services used by the different teams in their day-to-day operations

The ESA team worked closely with Red Hat Consulting during the implementation and customization of the Red Hat operating system in the ESA project to ensure that all requirements were met. This phase was particularly important because these requirements dramatically differed from those of any other commercial organizations, and quite often, the scenarios arising during the project were absolutely new.

esa-cloudComplex virtual environments can now be provisioned within minutes directly by the end users as opposed to months, delivering true agility and allowing ESA to reach business and scientific targets earlier. Furthermore, creating a new infrastructure – modern, highly virtualized, and open standards-based – and deploying the ESA Cloud has allowed for simpler, more effective management of all services. The ESA IT team can now monitor computing resources consumed by its users in real-time, enabling optimization of the available capacity and streamlining chargeback operations to internal customers.