All-Science Cloud Computing is Here

The Jetstream research cloud. (Photo by Alan Mauro / Indiana University)


Atmosphere, a CyVerse-designed and developed platform, provides seamless access to the NSF’s new research cloud for all science and engineering disciplines.


After September 1, scientists and engineers in all disciplines can store, share, and analyze data through Jetstream, the National Science Foundation’s first all-science cyber-computing platform. The $6.6 million project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led by Indiana University (IU).


“Jetstream will support and provide resources for the community of researchers and students that already use CyVerse,” said Craig Stewart, Principal Investigator of Jetstream, Executive Director of the IU Pervasive Technology Institute and IU Associate Dean for Research Technologies.


Jetstream is an interactive cloud-based system designed to provide a usable interface for data management, with the scalability and flexibility to serve an expanded community of research and education professionals. Jetstream’s system presents no barriers to research discipline: the all-science platform supports researchers in diverse fields such as biology, engineering, atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, economics, and social sciences.


Cloud computing allows individuals to use an integrated network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, process, and analyze data. The technology has provided a much-needed capability for highly-customized, scalable analysis platforms that make possible large-scale and integrated data processing for science and engineering research today.


CyVerse’s cloud computing services are managed by Atmosphere, a research cloud provisioning platform developed by CyVerse at the University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute. Since its inception in January of 2011, Atmosphere has spurred widespread adoption of cloud computing in research applications, especially by researchers less accustomed to interacting with a cloud-computing environment, by providing a software platform that allows researchers, engineers, educators, and students to easily manage their cloud-based data sets and analyses.


“The platform is directed toward users who typically are not well-versed with cloud platform capabilities, and yet it allows them to effectively manage their analyses using cloud resources,” said Nirav Merchant, CyVerse Co-Principal Investigator, Director of Bio Computing at Arizona Research Laboratories, and a member of the BiO5 Institute.


“We have seen overwhelming demand for our cloud platform from researchers, engineers, and educators alike,” Merchant noted. “The first community we are onboarding are researchers that need more resources for processing data in a coordinated manner than we could readily provide due to limited availability of cloud hardware resources at CyVerse. Jetstream allows us to scale out with ease and support this community.”


For nearly two years, CyVerse’s multicloud orchestration platform Atmosphere has hosted Jetstream’s test and development facilities and managed project provisioning and the user interface for thousands of early adopters during Jetstream’s testing phase.


“A success factor for Jetstream will include evaluating how scientific and engineering users will easily and effectively use its cloud resources,” said Edwin Skimore, Director of Infrastructure at CyVerse at the UA. “By providing an intuitive user experience for both novice and expert technical users alike, Atmosphere lowers the barrier of entry for Jetstream while automating and orchestrating the resources across multiple clouds.”


Jetstream users have easy access their research data through Atmosphere’s web interface from their tablets, laptops, and desktop computers, promoting global research collaboration.


“Jetstream is tremendously user-friendly and straightforward to use because the user interface is based on the Atmosphere interface developed by CyVerse at the University of Arizona,” Stewart noted. “We are thrilled to have such a deep partnership with CyVerse and look forward to supporting important research and enabling new discoveries.”


Story by Shelley Littin
Marketing and Communications Coordinator