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IT Help and Support

University Information Services
 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the Cloud offering from Amazon. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive cloud services on the Internet. It gives you access to all the Amazon Web Service products.

The University has signed up to a framework deal through OCRE (Open Clouds for Research Environments) to give access to all of the services on AWS. This deal is through Jisc, which adds value to the base AWS offering and a discount of around 11% on the list price for all AWS services and offsets for network charges.

Who can use this service 

This contract is primarily targeted at institutions. Any institution that is part of the University of Cambridge can request a single 'AWS Organization'. The request needs to be made by an institutional IT Manager.

UIS regrets that Colleges and other Institutions affiliated to the University are not covered under the University's AWS agreement. These institutions will normally will be eligible to apply in their own right.  Please contact the UIS Service Desk for support with this.

Delegated managment

The top level AWS account should be applied for by institutional IT staff. Control and billing is delegated to institutional IT staff. They should manage access and projects on behalf of their users.

Procurement

Unless you are expecting to spend over £1,000/month on AWS services, you shouldn’t have any additional financial regulations to address. See:

  • Selecting a purchasing route, in particular the section sabout: 
    • Buying through Frameworks and Preferred Suppliers
    • Calculating the total value of your purchase.

For specific advice, contact procurement@admin.cam.ac.uk.

Costs and billing

Charging model

It costs nothing to join, and nothing to be able to do something. If you start using the services then you will be charged at the list price less around 11%. 

Institutions are only charged for usage. There is no cost for setting up the account or for having a dormant account. This means that if you think you will want to use AWS in the future, it may be worth setting up the account in advance because it tends to take 2 weeks from starting to having an account.

Cost

The cost calculated at Amazon's list price minus 14% discount, plus 3.5% usage charge. This equates to roughly 11% off the list price. Prices are set in USD ($) so are affected by exchange rate fluctuations.

One PO per institution

The service is billed against a single PO for each institution. Each project can be tagged and the information exposed in the bill, so that the right cost centre can be re-charged internally. This means that the finance team supporting that institution will need to be involved when the service is initiated.

It is easier to create the institutional account than to use a departmental credit card. Using the credit card in this way is generally frowned upon, and it will cost more. It may be pragmatic to set something up with a card if you are in a desperate hurry, and then transfer across as soon as possible.

Managing your usage costs

It is your responsibility to control your costs. It is unlikely that UIS can do anything to help where you have runaway costs or if a security breach causes you costs. The best analogy is to think of it a bit like a telephone bill. If you use your phone to make expensive calls, you will get a big bill. If you let others use your phone to make expensive calls then you will still get a big bill.

There may be ways to configure the system to minimise your exposure to runaway costs. Please contact cloud@uis.cam.ac.uk if you need to know more.

Assistance for researchers

It may be possible to get you assistance with working out costs and generating funding proposals. Please cloud@uis.cam.ac.uk.

UIS has launced free 'Office Hours' sessions giving you access to an AWS specialist, as well as a range of other user support sessions and channels. See: Free AWS and RONIN cloud learning/support for researchers

Free credits

Commonly you will get some free credit when you sign up. Additionally there is a level of usage that is free. If you have a project that needs to create a proof of concept before launch, it may be possible to arrange for some free credit. Please cloud@uis.cam.ac.uk.

Apply for the service

An insititutional IT Manager will need to fill out the Jisc onboarding questionnaire

If this is a problem please contact cloud@uis.cam.ac.uk.

You will need:

  1. an estimate of your monthly spend
  2. to be able to generate a PO for the order that will be used for all of the cloud in that institution 
  3. some co-ordination with your finance team, especially if there will be multiple cost-centres needed to pay for the service for your institution
  4. your AWS account number(s), if you have a current AWS account you want to migrate.

Additional support services

You can also pay directly for additional support from: 

You do not need to commit at time of applying for an account. You can add this feature afterwards if it becomes necessary.

UIS Service Desk

Phone padded  Service status line: (01223 7)67999
Website  Sign up for SMS/email status alerts
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