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Get AWS resources using our cloud research platform and manage them using RONIN.

University institutions wishing to use cloud-based infrastructure - anything that is not hosted locally such as virtual machines, storage, clusters of nodes (machines), can use Amazon Web Services (AWS). A working knowledge of AWS is needed to configure and manage these resources, which may prevent research groups from using them. 

Our cloud research platform meets the need for flexible cloud infrastructure. It is simple to set up and manage. It uses a web application called RONIN which hides AWS' technical details from the end users.

How it works

The cloud research platform provides a curated catalogue of virtual machines (VMs) and software images, including popular research packages, as well as customisable base images. All images offered are CIS hardened to comply with security requirements.

We create research projects containing a group of users and a budget. Users can consume (create, reshape, monitor, stop, destroy) cloud resources from a predefined catalogue in a self-service way.

The RONIN application provides instant visual feedback about the existing resources, their statuses and associated costs as well as forecasts and notifications according to budget thresholds. It also gives expenditure tracking including breakdowns by cost centre, project, cost type and source of funds.

Who can use the cloud research platform

This service is for any University institution within one of the Schools or Faculties, any institution directly under the supervision of the General Board or the Council and any cross-institutional research groups that have a separate billing and/or accounting unit in CUFS.

Colleges and other institutions affiliated with the University are not covered under the University's AWS agreement. However, the University AWS account manager can discuss pricing and contracts for any institutions that are not covered by the University's agreement. 

How much does it cost

Currently, the cloud research platform is free for selected institutions. This may change before going into general availability.

Independently of the cloud research platform cost, any cloud resource consumption is billed against the project budget according to Amazon AWS resources pricing, including a $0.02/h fee charged for the licensing of the CIS hardened images.

How to request access

The cloud research platform is currently being offered to a restricted group of users. Please use this form to register your interest.

If your institution is eligible, you will be contacted to start the approval process which will evaluate finance and security requirements as well as University research compliance.

How to get started

Once your request is approved in the cloud research platform, we will create a new project on RONIN and access will be granted to the provided list of user accounts (University of Cambridge accounts - crsid@cam.ac.uk). Accounts with 2-Step Verification enabled and validated will be notified with instructions on how to use RONIN.

How to get support and training

RONIN provides an extensive list of posts in their blog as well as dedicated support and Slack channels. For escalations and incidents, please contact cloudsupport@uis.cam.ac.uk

Training is available for groups joining the service and recordings of those sessions will be available in the future.

Additionally, 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 for RONIN. See: Free AWS and RONIN cloud learning/support for researchers

Terms and conditions

The cloud research platform is hosted under the University's AWS account, in compliance with:

 

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