UKRI Cloud Workshop Organising Committee 2022

Dr David Fergusson – University of Edinburgh (Chair)

Jay DesLauriers – University of Westminster

Dr Stephanie Thompson – University of Birmingham

Cristin Merritt – Alces Flight

James Grant – AWS, University of Bath

Alexander Dibbo – STFC, UKRI

Stig Telfer – StackHPC

Brad Tipp – Microsoft Corp

Dr Christopher Woods – University of Bristol

Dr Jeremy Yates – UCL

UKRI Cloud Workshop 2022 – Call for Participation

Our next workshop is on March 29th 2022! 

We will be back at The Francis Crick Institute in central London. As with previous events we are looking forward to a varied programme from the UK research community. We expect the workshop to be a mix of technical talks with researchers reporting on their use of cloud technologies. 

Abstract Submission

We’re looking for talk submissions covering all aspects of research computing using cloud, both public and private. We wish to have a diverse set of viewpoints represented at this workshop and encourage individuals and institutions of all backgrounds (for example academic, technical, business, or user experience) to apply. 

We’ve provided some suggested topics and themes below, but submissions outside of these areas are also welcome. Talk sessions are typically 20 minutes and should include time for questions. We’d also like to record and share the videos and slides afterwards, so please make it clear in your submission if this is likely to be an issue. To submit an abstract complete this form:

https://forms.gle/u7XEPpB79o2Y4rM27

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Monday 24th January (EOB). The Cloud Working Group will review the submissions and we’ll let successful submitters know by 31st January.

Workshop Presentation Format

Due to the ongoing situation, we may need to limit attendance. As such, this year we will be providing an in-person and live streaming experience and we can now accommodate virtual speakers for this event.  

Please note that all plans being made are subject to change based on the current health and safety guidance set by the UK Government.

Proposed Workshop Themes

High Performance Computing (HPC)

We would like to hear from those who have user stories involving running HPC-class workloads in public cloud. Stories can also include utilising cloud-native methods to create software-defined HPC infrastructure; hybrid solutions that extend on-premise compute infrastructure with cloud bursting, or adapting HPC workflows to exploit cloud-native technologies, for example.

Cloud Pilots and User Experiences

We would like to hear from operators and users about their experiences of running scientific workloads in private and public cloud environments. How does this compare with traditional HTC and HPC facilities? Have you found any advantages and/or disadvantages that we should know about? Do you use any abstraction layers to make them more usable?

Hybrid Cloud 

We are looking for examples of deployments which bridge the gap between on-premise infrastructure and public cloud, or between cloud providers. This could include; efforts to make workloads portable between clouds, creating cloud services or cloud access to enhance the current solution offered, or technologies to support migration and bursting, for example. In addition, topics covering data movement/migration and data collaboration/sharing have been of a particular interest to our community in the past and would fit within this theme.

UKRI and Trusted Environments

Following the recent UKRI and DARE UK call to inform design of cross-council digital research environments, we are keen to hear from projects that are using cloud to enable research and collaboration with sensitive data.  We are particularly keen to hear from groups that are awarded funding – to provide an early platform for the projects to share previous experience that helped them secure funding and hear what they aim to achieve, as well as how they plan to share their solutions with the wider community.

COVID and Cloud

The global COVID pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges in health and economics and research has been at the forefront of addressing these, from modelling transmission to simulating viral proteins and treatments. We are keen to showcase stories from the research community where cloud has enabled projects; to share practices for operating under demanding conditions and time constraints, but also celebrate the work that is helping to ease us out of the pandemic restrictions.

Performance/ResOps

The recent COP26 conference has fired the starting gun on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero. It is no longer an option to simply write code/applications and workflows without ensuring these have been performance optimised within reason. Neither cloud resource/technology/providers, application providers or cloud users can leave it to each other to ensure that workflows have as small a carbon footprint as possible. We are keen to hear from the cloud communities about work that has increased/maintained performance while reducing energy use. In particular we would like to hear about the role of the ResOps professional in ensuring that workflows/applications interact with cloud/cloud technologies in a power efficient manner. We hope this will share best practice and perhaps lead to further workshops and work in this challenging area.

Proposed talks are not limited to these themes but can also be in other areas of interest. Past themes have included storage, governance, IOT/data analytics and challenges faced and overcome when implementing a cloud solution at both business and technical levels.

The Program Committee listed here will make the final decision on the inclusion of any presentations to the meeting.