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Bath’s new research computing infrastructure

Our next-generation supercomputing environment will help accelerate scientific discovery at the University.

Beyond Balena

We are replacing Balena with a scalable cloud based high performance computing environment and small on-campus high throughput computing facility.

Over the coming months, University academics will have access to a new, modern and state-of-the-art research computing infrastructure. Our on-site Balena HPC (High Performance Computer) is being replaced by:

In addition academics at Bath will continue to have access to GW4’s regional Isambard HPC service.

Project update: 30 November 2021
The development of our new research computing environment is gathering significant pace. View the latest project updates in our newsletter which is available on the University's wiki pages.

Visit the Q&A section to find answers to your questions covering the decommissioning of Balena, costs, HPC software, the new cloud environment, data security and more.

Strengthening our research capabilities

The new cloud based research computing infrastructure is a huge step forward for Bath's research capabilities.

It will speed up the scientific discovery process and allow us to engage globally in computationally intensive research.

The Balena High Performance Computing HPC system

What this means for your research

Optimal compute and storage solutions for evolving research needs.

The new high performance computing environments will deliver:

  • Access to a large diversity of compute and data storage options that can meet evolving research needs,
  • Faster results: compute capacity in the cloud can be scaled to fit demand, run bigger and more jobs without queue restrictions,
  • Cutting edge hardware: cloud environments give researchers access to the newest hardware, with compute options regularly updated.

The move to a cloud based solution will involve changes to how our academic community uses our research computing facilities.

There is a cost associated with storing data in the cloud which will need to be carefully managed. Cloud computing will also offer researchers a choice in how they access compute resources. Users can either choose a pay-as-you-go service or a cheaper spot compute service that is reliant on the availability of spare capacity.

The University will continue to provide free access for unfunded research which will be available via a resource allocation process.

Prof Nick Brook, Dean of Faculty of Science

“This is an exciting time for research computing at the University. Embracing Cloud solutions will allow us to respond nimbly to emerging needs and requirements.

“There will be challenges along the way but I’m looking forward to working with the Advancing Research Computing group within DDaT to deliver computing solutions to meet the ambition of the University’s research agenda.”

An image of Nick Brook

Roadmap 2021 - 2022

The first version of our new high performance environments will be available from mid-September 2021 and will be rolled out to a small group of early-access users.

Over the coming months, new and enhanced functionality will be made available to deliver a fit-for-purpose full scale cloud HPC environment and on-site HTC cluster.

Phased user migration
Our users will be supported throughout the phased transition to the new high performance computing environment which for most users will take place towards the beginning of 2022.

Wooden blocks with the year 2021 - 2022

We welcome any questions or concerns you may have.

Submit your question

Advancing Research Computing Team

We support and accelerate scientific discovery at the University by giving our academic community access to: