SNIC Science Cloud – A Community Cloud and a Community Effort

We are happy to announce SNIC Science Cloud (SSC), a community cloud offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and, in the near future, selected Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings free of charge to individual researchers at Swedish universities. We will start taking on more users during the next couple of months so let us know if you have a need for cloud computing infrastructure.

Open source. We are building SSC on the open source OpenStack cloud suite. Currently, we are hardening the system for sustained production. We are also scaling it to multiple regions with participation from the HPC centre UPPMAX (Uppsala), C3SE (Göteborg), HPC2N (Umeå) and PDC (Stockholm) to ensure that we can meet an increasing demand.

A community effort. Our goal is to provide a modern, flexible and open infrastructure that complements existing HPC resources. We strive for a community effort that evolves with and for researchers. We would love to hear from potential users regarding the needs for platform level services, such as Apache Hadoop/Spark, Kubernetes or other toolchains so that we focus efforts where they are most needed. What large datasets would you like to process?

Transparency to help others follow. In taking on the challenge of deploying and operating an OpenStack community cloud on a national scale over several hundreds of servers and many thousand physical cores, we hope to lead the way for other institutions that are considering similar initiatives. This is why we aim for transparency, both with architecture planning, operation practices (e.g. sharing code for testing and evaluation), and with data regarding usage patterns.

Open science, open data. With SSC we hope to take a leap towards an infrastructure for open science and open data, with cloud technology facilitating shareability and reproducibility of complex and computationally demanding experiments. We aim at making computations and data analysis more accessible for research communities with little previous experience of advanced and large scale computing resources. We are always interested in discussing these issues and in sharing and sharpening our vision.

You can help. Finally, there is a lot of work to do! If you are involved with academia in Sweden and you are an OpenStack operator, have experience of e.g. software stacks for large scale data processing, microservices orchestration, automation, or if you belong to a community that is using some specific SaaS that you would like to provide for research groups, we want your help!