BEAR Cloud for Research

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In the computing context, it is apparent that ‘Cloud’ means very different things to different people so what is BEAR Cloud and what can it do?

At the simplest level, BEAR Cloud is a bunch of powerful computing resources (dedicated to supporting computationally or data intensive research) that can be deployed flexibly and changed easily to meet evolving user needs. The entire infrastructure is housed on campus; a characteristic which is particularly important for those dealing with large datasets or sensitive data. It is also highly efficient and cost effective in comparison with current commercial cloud offerings.

Built with a major investment by the University (including part of a £2m investment for Life Sciences) and using some innovative technology, Advanced Research Computing operates the highly efficient, underpinning infrastructure and base services. An integral part of this infrastructure, the resources exclusively reserved for research in the life sciences are known as CaStLeS. BEAR Cloud retains the power of traditional HPC which will be familiar to users of BlueBEAR but adds to it the ability to create multiple virtual servers on demand; all co-existing on the same infrastructure. These servers can have different operating systems – different varieties of Linux for instance – and can be tailored for applications that have been developed for particular environments. There are currently no commercial cloud offerings that can compete with BEAR Cloud in terms of performance and integration with campus services.

BEAR Cloud (with CaStLeS) is used by over a hundred research groups, some using standard set ups, many with tailored environments/resources with software built to meet their specialist needs. To find our more, see the following sections:

Who can use the service?

BEAR Cloud Diagram

Standard VMs

The Technology


Last Modified: 28 August 2018