Reliable and resilient – the new university cloud service “sciebo”

  Logo of the cloud service sciebo Sync & Share NRW / WWU

The green elephant in the “sciebo” logo stands for reliability and resilience, attributes applicable to both the animal and the new cloud service.

The service

This service – one of the biggest of its kind in Germany – allows students and scientists to securely process even large amounts of data, including automatic synchronization of data across multiple different devices, such as PCs and smartphones. Additionally, the service allows multiple users to collectively work on the same documents. For example, students can work on a project from different locations and always have access to their classmates’ latest contributions, while each one maintains control of their own data.

Who is involved?

The participating universities operate „sciebo“ autonomously. Data is handled exclusively at three North Rhine-Westphalian universities – in Münster, where the project management is situated, as well as in Bonn and at Duisburg-Essen. As “sciebo” is hosted in NRW, it is subject to German data protection laws – among the strictest in the world.

“With most commercial cloud services, data is stored on servers in other countries. This often means lax regulations and non-transparent terms of service,” emphasizes Dr. Raimund Vogl, director of the Center for Information Processing of the Westphalian Wilhelms-University of Münster (WWU). “Therefore these services cannot be used for handling sensitive data.” Raimund Vogl is the consortium manager of “sciebo” and responsible for the introduction and operation of the service, which was prepared under the working title “Sync & Share NRW”.

Sciebo – what does it mean?

Sciebo (pronounced: skee-boh) is a word coined as an abbreviation of “Science Box” and refers to the campus-oriented character of the cloud. The service is exclusively available to members of the participating institutions, with 30 gigabytes available to each user. For research projects, considerable additional capacity can be provided.

Several of the universities have decided to provisionally offer “sciebo” to either only their staff or their students. RWTH Aachen is providing the service for all its employees and students from the beginning!

The project is being supported by the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia with around 2.8 million Euros.

Participating universities and universities of applied sciences

Universities:

University of Münster (project management), RWTH Aachen University, University of Bonn, German Sport University Cologne, University of Cologne, University of Duisburg-Essen, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, University of Siegen, University of Hagen, University of Paderborn, University of Wuppertal

Universities of applied sciences:

Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund, Hochschule für Gesundheit - University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen, Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Münster University of Applied Sciences, Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Ruhr West - University of Applied Sciences