The Birmingham Environment for Academic Research (BEAR) is a collection of complementary IT resources managed by Advanced Research Computing. These services are designed to help research and are free at the point of use for all bar those with exceptional needs. The 2015/16 procurement for an industry integrator/partner to work with across the suite of services resulted in a framework agreement with OCF, backed by leading technology companies such as Lenovo, IBM, DDN and Mellanox who together offer a broad spread of expertise to help build the environment and develop services. The development and operation of all BEAR services is overseen and governed by the Research Computing Management Committee.
BlueBEAR is the University supercomputer, for high performance computing (HPC) and high throughput computing (HTC).
BEAR Research Data Store (RDS) provides storage for ‘research-in-progress’ data, including a facility for groups with exceptionally large requirements to purchase extra capacity.
BEAR Cloud is the next generation of powerful interactive virtual machines for compute or data intensive work - built for flexibility, accessibility & efficiency.
CaStLeS (powered by BEAR) provides powerful compute and storage to meet the challenges of life sciences research across the University.
BEAR Gitlab is an on-campus software repository that supports academic programmers through the whole software lifecycle.
BEAR Data Transfer provides services for researchers to transfer large amounts of research data with either external people or organisations.
BEAR Archive is a cost effective and energy efficient archive for the long-term retention of completed research data.
BEAR Research Data Network caters for the fast transmission of exceptionally large data volumes, generated by specific scientific equipment on campus.
BEAR Software provides researchers with advice, coaching, and coding services from Research Software Engineers.
BEAR Plus is additional computational resources available to Birmingham researchers through the Tier2 regional centres, including Baskerville (hosted at the University), and other national resources.
Exclusive and Priority BEAR enable research groups with demanding or time-sensitive workloads to buy centrally managed and dedicated or priority compute capacity. Costs for management and all supporting infrastructure (racks, switches and of course electricity) are usually met by IT Services.
BEAR Database Service runs in a high-availability cluster and is available both from BlueBEAR and from the campus network.
This short video provides a quick intro to the BEAR services and the Research Engagement and Data Group (REDG).
BEAR Storage Services
There is further information about the various storage options available to researchers here.
Problems and Questions
Problems or questions should be logged with the IT Service Portal. This ensures that they reach the most appropriate person and that they are tracked. It also allows any common or persistent areas of uncertainty or concern to be identified.
Acknowledging BEAR in Publications
To justify ongoing funding for this service it is essential that outcomes such as publications and/or grant awards are recognised by the University. See this information on acknowledging BEAR in publications.