Earlier this week at the SC12 conference we announced a set of new services that we plan to launch early in 2013, including a simple, fast way to share big data directly from your own storage (without moving it to a cloud storage provider). We also announced that some of these future services will have a monthly fee associated with them, in keeping with our objective to make Globus Online a self-sustaining effort. We've received positive feedback on our development plans, as well as many questions, and I'd like to further expand on our announcement.
Our mission is to serve the data management needs of researchers at academic and non-profit institutions. In order for us to do this effectively, we must be able to sustain our operations—a task that is not easy to do within the traditional research funding environment. Federal agencies continue to support our core research through grants, but these grants are not intended to fund operating costs for things like cloud hosting resources, user support staff, and helpdesk software, among others. Our goal is to charge a modest fee to those researchers and projects who receive substantial value from our service, not so that we can make money, but so that we can sustain Globus Online over the long term.