Cloud collaboration environment

Primary challenge owner: HU University of Applied sciences Utrecht

Secondary challenge owner(s): None



As an IT professional you have to keep up with the latest developments and to achieve sufficient skills it is important to practice in a realistic IT environment. Therefore, the IT students of Utrecht University of Applied Sciences experiment with Machine Learning, create websites and build CI/CD pipelines at perform labs.

Practicing is partly done using their own PC or laptop, however, this is moving towards a cloud environment. After all, public cloud provides broad network access including access from home, its payment model is ‘pay-as-you-go’ and moreover, cloud is highly scalable. Fortunately, big public cloud providers offer a number of free to use services for our educational needs. These environments are highly useful and free to use for the students. However, each solution has its own limitations and these solutions are quite often not suitable for collaboration by a group of students over a longer period of time.

In short, the IT students need access to the public cloud environment of one of the big cloud providers in order to perform their (group) projects. To be precise:

  • The students want 24/7 access to as many public cloud services as possible.
  • Lecturers want to be unburdened with regard to onboarding
  • A safe environment is required, but it is understanded that all parties have their responsibility to achieve this goal.


The question/ the challenge to startups

Contribute to a solution where students are able to work collaboratively in a cloud environment they have continuous access to and gives them the opportunity to safely practice in a realistic environment.



  • The students require 24/7 access to as many public cloud services as possible.
  • The students technical support to assist them if they are stuck, but the students should be able to install, configure and manage their own practices.
  • The solution needs to be cost effective to be approved by the University of Applied Sciences.
  • Must haves: MS Azure, Google Cloud or AWS, ability to limit costs (capping)
  • Should haves: Preferably MS Azure, directly connected to student directory, little limitations to access cloud services, low-cost solution, technical support
  • Could haves: Reporting

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