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Research Computing Services

Terms of Use and Provision of Service

  • The virtual infrastructure elements provided by the Research Cloud platform is made available to support the research work of members of the University and its constituent institutions and departments. 
  • These resources may be used in the support of collaborations with members of other academic bodies or research institutions, but a responsible point of contact for management and maintenance of Research Cloud projects must always be a current University member of staff.
  • All fees accrued in use of the Research Cloud platform must be supported by purchase orders acceptable to the University; cash and other personal payments will not be accepted.
  • Every Research Cloud project must have at least one principal technical contact who is a current member of staff of the University and the project may also nominate a principal investigator who will be academic lead on the research uses of the project.
  • In certain cases these may be the same person, but the Principal Investigator is usually expected to be an academic member of staff with a departmental affiliation and a research case met by Research Cloud resources.
  • Maintenance of operating systems, security patching and maintenance of the physical compute, storage and networking hardware underlying the Research Cloud will be the purview of the UIS staff supporting the platform. In service of these tasks, restarts of elements of the platform infrastructure may be necessary. Service interruptions undertaken during these will be advertised in advance to all users of the platform by means of a closed UIS mailing list.

User Information and Privacy

Users of the Research Cloud platform will, in applying for a project, accept the terms and conditions of the Information Services Committee for accessing the Cambridge University Data Network;

and those pertaining to use of and data privacy on Research Computing Services systems;

Specific to the Research Cloud, some user personal data will be processed and stored by the operators of the Research Cloud platform. The information in this section applies only to user data processed and stored by the Research Cloud platform and supporting staff, and not user-operated infrastructure which may be run on it, which will remain the responsibility of the instigating users.

Explicit storage

User data that will be explicitly processed and stored in support of operation of the platform will be limited to the names, CRSids. e-mail addresses and departmental affiliations of all users applying for and given access to the platform, along with any funding identifiers such as purchase order numbers or grant codes that may be supplied by these users in support of their continued use of the platform.

This information will be processed and viewable by the UIS staff who operate and support the platform only, and at the closure of a user account will be removed on request.

Incidental storage

The Research Cloud is an OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service platform, operating a number of services accessible on the private portion of Cambridge University Data Network that produce logging of attempted and successful user transactions as a matter of their normal operation.

This logging is made automatically by system services and preserved for use in administrative operation tasks or collection of usage and performance statistics for a maximum of 6 months.

On accessing Research Cloud resources, a number of pieces of information will be recorded in service logging such as; Date and time of the connection attempt, user client IP address, user agent identifier string, request and response strings

This logging information may be passed to the UIS Computer Emergency Response Team on request in the incidence of abusive activity emanating from the Research Cloud platform that is isolated to a particular user or users, but will not otherwise be released to third parties not the originating user or the operators of the Research Cloud platform without permissions, except if required by law, University regulations or the appropriate non-disclosure agreements first being in place in the case of platform logging information transmitted to platform support contractors or vendors.

Acceptable Use Policy

Failure to abide by the Research Cloud Acceptable Use Policy may result in the cancellation of projects and resource allocations, and the removal of user accounts from the platform.

The resources of the Research Cloud platofrm are provided for members of staff of the University of Cambridge to serve its research communities, who have the following responsibilities in their usage of the platform;

In the use of the Research Cloud platform, all users will agree to the following acceptable use policies;

  • Sharing of user access credentials is prohibited.
  • All users, in applying for and being granted access to Research Cloud resources, accept to abide by the terms of University & UIS policies and law, including but not limited to;
  • Virtual infrastructure stood up on the Research Cloud may be used only in the service of the research project for which it was applied. The resources may not be used for commercial, personal or financial gain, copyright infringement or any other unlawful purpose or in any way which interferes with the research work of other users on the Research Cloud.
  • A single account tied to the CRSid of the user will be provided, per user, to access the CUDN-facing APIs of the Research Cloud. Multiple accounts per user are not possible
  • The user will not attempt to circumvent or pervert normal login procedures or security of the platform to access resources that have not been allocated to them, or access administrative privileges.
  • The user will not engage in intentional or malicious probing or scanning of resources within the Resource Cloud, or the wider Cambridge University Data Network. 
  • Users on the Research Cloud platform will have full administrative control over the virtual computing platforms created within their projects, and as such are ultimately responsible for the security and maintenance of the infrastructure they deploy.
  • User infrastructure failing to meet these standards and found to be compromised or engaged in harmful activity, can be disabled or removed by the platform operators or the University Computer Emergency Response Team.

Principal Investigators on projects on the Research Cloud platform agree to the following acceptable use policies;

  • PIs or their nominated technical contact are responsible for informing the operators of the platform when users on a project have left and their access to CUDN-facing APIs removed.
  • PIs or their nominated technical contact are responsible for removing the access of these users from any resources inside the Research Cloud project, to which the operators of the platform will by definition not have administrative access.
  • PIs or their nominated technical contact are responsible for ensuring that members of their Research Cloud project meet the terms and conditions.
  • At request from the platform operators, PIs or their nominees will update the support staff on their usage of and experiences on the Research Cloud.