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Cloud Research Computing Services

The services offered by cloud computing vendors can provide benefits of scale, cost savings, and security to research groups with computational needs. Research Computing Services can partner with you to pick the right tools and services to smoothly transition to the cloud. Several examples of how researchers may take advantage of cloud computing are listed below.

Secure High Performance Computing for Regulated Data

Research Computing Services has a variety of methods to build high performance computing clusters or other batch computing systems in the cloud that will ensure data security for HIPAA or other regulated data workloads, while providing reliable performance and a software environment comparable to Quest.

Powerful Interactive Computing

Some data sets are too large to analyze on a standard laptop or high end workstation, or the data set may need to be worked on for only a short time, making the decision to invest in a powerful workstation difficult. You may have a machine learning model to train that requires a GPU, but for only a few hours at time. We can help design a solution that allows you to pay by the minute for the resources you need, including high memory, high throughput, and GPU-enabled instances, and provide guidance on how to use it to take advantage of the capabilities of the cloud.

Long-term Data Archiving

Cloud storage options such as AWS Glacier offer very economical pricing for long term storage of large data sets at less than $50/TB/year. We can help you determine if this solution is right for your data archiving needs.

Managed databases

SQL and NoSQL databases are enormously helpful tools for analyzing data, but the process of creating one is tedious and error prone. There are several options for pay-per-use database services across multiple cloud vendors. Let us help you determine which one best fits your database needs.

On-demand Workshop Environments

If you would like to teach a computational skills workshop for your lab but need help setting up the environment (installing software, creating user accounts, etc.), Research Computing Services can help. We have a library of on-demand environments for teaching technologies such as R and SQL, and if we don't have what you're looking for we can work with you to design a new one.

Cloud Vendors

Northwestern has signed agreements with multiple public cloud providers, allowing billing to a purchase order in NUFinancials rather than a credit card. Research Computing Services can help you get set up to use a faculty account to fund your cloud computing spending.

In addition, Northwestern offers an on-premise, private cloud service called NUCloudThis VMware-powered infrastructure-as-a-service platform makes "virtual data centers" available for a minimum two-year term and is a good solution for moderately-sized, steady state workloads that will run for multiple years.

Get Started

To request more information or a meeting with a Northwestern IT Research Computing consultant, please email consultant@northwestern.edu and include the following information:

Last Updated: 7 November 2017

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