The agreement makes cloud computing more accessible and affordable for all researchers and instructors, and is a key step toward supporting the National Science Foundation's Data Sharing Policy and Data Management Plan Requirements for the greater research community.

Under this agreement with Internet2, Microsoft will waive both data egress and data ingress charges for Internet2 university members through their institutions' existing Enrollment for Education Solutions licensing agreement with Microsoft.

Through this arrangement, principal investigators involved in large data initiatives, such as genomics, big data or “the long tail of science” projects, can save on bandwidth charges when moving or accessing data sets and shift those resources toward research-related activities and speed discovery.

As part of this agreement, Microsoft has committed to a grant of $50,000 in Windows Azure resources to Internet2 to help drive pilot projects. The award of the grant to individual members will be administered by Internet2. Interested Internet2 members can contact for details on how they might participate in the program.

The arrangement will become available to Internet2 member institutions beginning in the third quarter of 2012.