Cloud Service Unit (CSU)-User Survey Results

August 27th, 2014


Development of the new IUCC Cloud Service Unit (CSU) is well underway and progressing according to schedule. Recently the development team carried out a market survey of potential users. The results enabled mapping specific needs of the academic research community. The unique model under development will facilitate convenient access to cloud services and help boost and modernize research methodologies in academic research.

Survey Results
While the results indicated a clear desire to use cloud computing resources for asynchronous parallel computing jobs, software as a service and cloud-based tools, only one-third of the respondents actually use cloud infrastructure. Of the research groups currently not using cloud computing resources, the overwhelming majority expressed a desire to deploy them if they could. A significant number felt that the present computing resources available and currently in use will soon be insufficient. Approximately half of the respondents currently using cloud resources purchase them from large vendors, such as Google and Amazon. For a variety of reasons, the second half uses smaller vendors that offer much more limited resources and options according to the respondents. The two main obstacles noted by respondents to using the cloud are the high cost of data transfer and lack of knowledge on how to use it.

As to what the research community expects from the CSU, the message was loud and clear: technical expertise and training. The majority of respondents even expressed a desire to have the CSU run their jobs during the testing and ramp up stage.

CSU-Cloud Services Marketplace for Academia
Based on these results, the CSU will be an easy to use portal that will allow users to choose the cloud provider they prefer from a list of CSU approved vendors and purchase the package they need via the intuitive CSU billing system. Full integration with grant submission and funding sources will be available as well. The CSU will provide service and support from a dedicated team of uniquely qualified IT professionals with experience in academic research, protocols, and systems. Several options will be available, depending on what level of support and service is required.

The Cloud Service Unit will open extraordinary new opportunities to build virtual cloud-based research environments, including High Performance Computing (HPC), flexibly scale activities and maximize limited funding resources.

For more information or to join our testing team please contact us.

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