A Common Cloud Platform for STFC Science

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


STFC supports science programmes in the areas of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics and Solar System science, and supports the national analytic science facilities including the Diamond Light Source, ISIS, and the Central Laser Facility. These science programmes and facilities activities are all data intensive, requiring very large capacity computing and data handling facilities connected by a high performance network to other global facilities (collectively called the e-Infrastructure).

In this proposal, we request £1.5M of funding to support a set of work packages which will deliver progress towards the development the STFC
e-Infrastructure in three key areas:
-Cloud infrastructure development
-Software ecosystem development
-Data exploitation in a shared environment

The facility we will create will augment existing well proven and effective e-Infrastructures, and be made available to all science areas within STFC supported by the Programmes Directorate and the STFC Scientific Computing Department.
The facility will also allow us to build concrete links with other RCUK research areas, and to participate further in the development of a National e-Infrastructure (NeI) for research.

Planned Impact

The impact is fully described in the pathways to impact annex.

In summary the e-Infrastructure, including software infrastructure, will

- Provide badly needed additional resources for all STFC data intensive science communities undertaking science supported by PPAN and the National Facilities, thus enabling more science output.

- Address the STFC need to harmonise computing across STFC as called for by its Computing Strategy.

- Pilot engagement with UK industry in the provision of cloud based resources.

- Aid STFC in its need to move towards a National e-Infrastructure for research across Research Councils.


10 25 50