Scientific OpenStack

Scientific OpenStack

Scientific OpenStack is a cloud computing platform that is designed to support scientific research and data-intensive applications.

Scientific OpenStack is a variant of OpenStack that is customised to meet the specific needs of scientific research and development. Research and scientific disciplines were some of the earliest and most prevalent use cases for OpenStack clouds and OpenStack today provides compelling solutions for the challenges of delivering flexible infrastructure for high-performance computing (HPC) and high-throughput computing (HTC), with the development community rapidly expanding existing and new services to meet future demands.

Scientific OpenStack provides a range of features and tools that enable researchers to store, manage, and perform complex analysis of large volumes of data. Some of the key features of Scientific OpenStack include:

  • High-performance computing capabilities – Scientific OpenStack is designed to support high-performance computing workloads, such as simulation and modelling, data analysis, and machine learning.

  • Customisable infrastructure – Scientific OpenStack allows researchers to customise the infrastructure to meet their specific needs, including compute, storage, and networking resources.

  • Containers – Scientific OpenStack supports containerization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes. This enables researchers to build and run complex workflows involving multiple applications in a reproducible and scalable manner.

  • Security – Scientific OpenStack is designed to meet the highest standards of data security and confidentiality. 


An OpenStack cloud (named 'Arcus') is currently the base infrastructure provider for all services deployed by the Research Computing division at the West Cambridge Data Centre, including provisioning of new high-performance CSD3 HPC clusters, Secure Research Computing environments, storage, hypervisor and web application platform services.

Principal Investigators, research group members and group IT support staff are able to submit an application to rent a portion of the available cloud resources, on which to build their own research computing applications without needing to first provision physical hardware in their home department. If you would like to investigate this possibility, email us at

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