Should I use SSC?

This page aims to help you determine of the SSC resource is the right resource for your project and use-case. If you determine that it is, follow instructions here to apply for a project: Apply for a project on SSC. 

Is cloud IaaS the right e-Infrastructure for your use-case?

SNIC provides a large ecosystem of e-Infrastructure solutions, ranging from high-performance computing batch clusters, to large-scale storage, to cloud infrastructure. First, make sure that your use-case maps well to cloud IaaS resources, and cannot be more easily addressed by some of the higher-level services offered. A complete list of all types of resources in the SNIC ecosystem and their general purpose can be found here:  http://snic.se/allocations/ . The present round in SUPR for SSC is equivalent to a “SNIC Small” project in scope.

Is SSC the right cloud provider for your use-case?

If the answer to the above question is yes, the next step is to determine if SSC is the right cloud provider for your use-case and if the service levels are appropriate. The general service description for SSC can be found here (Draft version):

Since SSC is a community cloud made specifically for the scientific community, there are some restrictions and limitations on the types of usage that is allowed at no cost to the user. As a general guideline, SSC supports research and development in a broad sense. Projects that need flexible cloud resources to enable such research are eligible for resources at no cost. Hosting developed services, such as web portals or datasets, to an external community however, can be considered but then at the users own expense.

Frequently asked questions:

Should I use SSC or SNIC HPC resources for my computations? Yes and no. For large-scale production HPC, SNIC’s dedicated HPC clusters offer superior performance. The cloud backbone is not able to support network bandwidth sensitive MPI applications well.  However, there are a number of scenarios where SSC can  be a productive complement to the physical clusters:

  • During the development phase of new software, where the added flexibility (such as root access on VMs) is an advantage.
  • For applications for which the existing clusters does not work well ( e.g. due to a need for a non-supported Linux flavor, need for containers) and that are not bandwidth-sensitive (such as MTC and HTC use-cases).
  • Interactive computing.

Could I use SSC resources for self-provisioning of “Big Data solutions”? Yes. A common use case of SSC it so automatically provision virtual Hadoop and Spark clusters, as well as other solutions for data stream processing. Our user community has developed good tools to automatically deploy such solutions.

Could I use SSC to run “Web Notebooks”, such as Jupyter and Zeppelin?  Yes, this is a common use case for SSC. Please pay proper attention to security best practices.

Can I run containers on SSC? Yes, a common use case in SSC is development of microservices, using e.g. Docker and Kubernetes. We do not offer any supported container orchestration services. However, other users have developed solutions to deploy e.g. Kubernetes over SSC resources in a self-service fashion, see e.g. KubeNow by Marco Cappucini.

Can I use SSC to develop Software as-a Service (SaaS)? Yes, this is a central use-case for SSC. SSC is a general IaaS and as such well suited for building PaaS and SaaS solutions, and for serving general DevOps needs.

Can I use SSC to host SaaS to an external community? Maybe. But in this case you need to cover the cost of the resources used. Contact SNIC with your request. Also, remember to look at the service description and remember that it is your responsibility to provide a robust solution – SSC is not backed up and do not offer disaster recovery guarantees. Hosting of mission-critical production databases and frontends may be better handled by a commercial provider with a stronger SLA, or by your local IT-unit at your university/department.

Can I use SSC to provide virtual lab resources for training and courses? This depends on resource availability as well as the scope and aim of the course. Depending on the target audience (PhD students, researchers, undergraduate students) and the scope, SNIC may request cost coverage for the used resources. Contact SNIC with requests.

Can I use SSC to store and process sensitive data? No, absolutely not. For information regarding SNIC resources for sensitive data please see SNIC Sens.  

Can I use SSC to backup my research data? No. The storage systems in SSC are for active data only.