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Title: Cloud and on-premises data center usage, expenditures, and approaches to return on investment: A survey of academic research computing organizations
The landscape of research in science and engineering is heavily reliant on computation and data processing. There is continued and expanded usage by disciplines that have historically used advanced computing resources, new usage by disciplines that have not traditionally used HPC, and new modalities of the usage in Data Science, Machine Learning, and other areas of AI. Along with these new patterns have come new advanced computing resource methods and approaches, including the availability of commercial cloud resources. The Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC) has long been an advocate representing the needs of academic researchers using computational resources, sharing best practices and offering advice to create a national cyberinfrastructure to meet US science, engineering, and other academic computing needs. CASC has completed the first of what we intend to be an annual survey of academic cloud and data center usage and practices in analyzing return on investment in cyberinfrastructure. Critically important findings from this first survey include the following: many of the respondents are engaged in some form of analysis of return in research computing investments, but only a minority currently report the results of such analyses to their upper-level administration. Most respondents are experimenting with use of commercial cloud more » resources but no respondent indicated that they have found use of commercial cloud services to create financial benefits compared to their current methods. There is clear correlation between levels of investment in research cyberinfrastructure and the scale of both cpu core-hours delivered and the financial level of supported research grants. Also interesting is that almost every respondent indicated that they participate in some sort of national cooperative or nationally provided research computing infrastructure project and most were involved in academic computing-related organizations, indicating a high degree of engagement by institutions of higher education in building and maintaining national research computing ecosystems. Institutions continue to evaluate cloud-based HPC service models, despite having generally concluded that so far cloud HPC is too expensive to use compared to their current methods. « less
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Award ID(s):
1362134 1939140
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
PEARC '20: Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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