Code of Conduct for UKRI Cloud Workshop 2022


The UKRI Cloud Workshop is dedicated to building a safe and welcoming community in which to share research. All participants in our events and communications are expected to show respect and courtesy to others. 

This Code of Conduct should be honoured by everyone who participates in this workshop community. It should be honoured in all activities either as an attendee or an organiser, and especially when someone is representing the workshop in any role (including as an event volunteer, organiser or speaker).

Code of Conduct

Behaviours that are disrespectful to our members or events’ attendees and sponsors, or intimidate, exclude or cause discomfort to others will not be tolerated. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on characteristics that include, but are not limited to,  age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and parenthood, race, religion or belief (or lack thereof), gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, technical choices, experience level or any other dimension of diversity.

By participating in this workshop, individuals indicate their acceptance of the Code of Conduct and its enforcement, which might include storage and processing of their personal information.

Expected behaviour

All participants in our events and communications are expected to show respect and courtesy to others and all interactions should be professional, both online and in-person. 

The following kinds of behaviours in this community, its events and platforms are encouraged:

  • Focus on what is best for the community
  • Show courtesy and respect towards every member of the community
  • Be respectful of different viewpoints and experiences
  • Gracefully accept constructive criticism
  • Use welcoming and inclusive language
  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct and report incidences promptly
  • Be direct, but professional
  • Ask for consent and respect people’s boundaries
  • Be aware of the dynamics of power and privilege (be mindful of how much time and space you are taking up)

Unacceptable behaviour

  • Publication of private communication without consent
  • Excessive Swearing 
  • Improper gestures
  • Use of stereotypes
  • Incitement to violence, suicide or self-harm
  • Sustained disruptions of talks, workshops events or communications
  • The display of violent images
  • Causing someone to fear for their safety through stalking, following, intimidation, or threatening
  • Unwelcome and repeated flirtations, propositions, advances, or other sexual attention – including gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour
  • Non-consensual or unwelcome physical contact
  • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or exclusionary jokes
  • Continuing to initiate interaction with someone after being explicitly asked to stop
  • Offensive, insulting, derogatory, or degrading remarks
  • Demands for sexual favours in exchange for favourable or preferential treatment
  • Advocating for, or encouraging any of the above behaviours

Consequences of Unacceptable Behaviour

Participants who are asked to stop any inappropriate behaviour are expected to comply immediately. This applies to any event or platform, either online or in-person. If an event participant engages in behaviour that violates this Code of Conduct, the organizers may warn the offender, ask them to leave the event or platform (without refund), or engage the committee to investigate the Code of Conduct violation and impose appropriate sanctions.

Contact for Queries

If you have a question about the Code of Conduct or wish to report misconduct, please email Cristin Merritt ( ).

Programme for UKRI Cloud Workshop 2022

The workshop was held on March 29th at the Francis Crick Institute in central London.

Registration is now closed.

Programme now includes links to slides – updated 27/04/2022

TimingPlenary / Strand A Sessions
Auditorium 2
Strand B Sessions
Auditorium 1
09:15Registration + teas/coffee
10:25Opening Plenary
Chair: Cristin Merritt
Reaching the cloud – Steven Chapman, University of Bath
Question time
10:55Break – teas/coffee
11:15Session 1a – User Experiences
Chair: Jay DesLauriers
Session 1b – User Experiences
Chair: Cristin Merritt
Transitioning research computing workloads to the cloud: A thematic approach at Cardiff University Tom Green, Cardiff UniversityGlobal Symmetry is important for the detection of abnormality in mammograms Cameron Kyle-Davidson, University of York
On the creation of a secure ‘serverless’ workflow between a Mapbox frontend and a SalesForce backend for the Tekkatho Foundation – Mike Jones, Independent ResearcherCapturing a Moment in the Cloud Workshop: How our perception and use of cloud computing has changed over time – Wil Mayers, Alces Flight
Reducing time-to-science with self-service HPC and AI platforms in the Azimuth portalMatt Pryor, Stack HPCCrawlers, Bots, Flows, Lambdas, Glues and Autopilots: Applying AI and ML to Radiological Sensor Networks for Safety and SecurityPeter Martin, University of Bristol
Question timeQuestion time
12:15Lunch – buffet lunch
13:30Plenary (invited speakers)
Chair: Cristin Merritt
Developing and using the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform, a large-scale Trusted Research EnvironmentOliver Gray and Przemyslaw Stempor, UK BioBank
CLIMB-COVID: Cloud Infrastructure to Support the UK’s Covid-19 Response Radoslaw Poplawski and Nick Loman, University of Birmingham
Question time
14:15Session 2a – Trusted Research Environments
Chair: David Fergusson
Session 2b – HPC in the Cloud – Applications
Chair: Stig Telfer
TREEHOOSE: Trusted Research Environment and Enclave Hosting Open Original Scientific ExplorationSimon Li, University of DundeeTwins in the Cloud: Simplifying the Deployment of Digital Twins for Manufacturing-as-a-ServiceJay DesLauriers, University of Westminster
Data Safe Haven Classification and Trusted environments in the cloud: extending a Turing Django based application across multiple institutionsRebecca Osselton, Newcastle UniversityAn Introduction to DosNA: Distributed Numpy Arrays for High-performance cloud computingGabryel Mason-Williams, Rosalind Franklin Institute
The Genes And Health TRE in the Google cloudVivek Iyer, Wellcome Sanger InstituteMaintaining versioned 3D digital designs using a hybrid and multi-cloud solutionNiall Kennedy, YellowDog
Question timeQuestion time
15:15Break – teas/coffee
15:35Session 3a HPC in Cloud
Chair: Alex Dibbo
Session 3b Covid & Cloud
Chair: Stephanie Thompson
The PITHIA-NRF e-Science Centre – towards a Cloud-based Platform to support Ionosphere, Thermosphere, and Plasmasphere ResearchTamas Kiss, University of WestminsterSupporting UK Covid-19 surveillance with AWS Step Functions and Fargate at Wellcome Sanger InstituteSam Proctor, Wellcome Sanger Institute
King’s CREATE: a new research computing ecosystem and the journey so farMatt Penn, King’s College LondonLaying the groundwork for discovering the next novel coronavirus – Brendan Bouffler, Amazon Web Services
Ensuring fairer access and reducing obstacles to research in fixed capacity cloudsPaul Browne, University of Cambridge & Pierre Riteau, Stack HPCCloud-based nonequilibrium simulations to investigate regulation and environmental effects in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein – Sofia Oliveira, University of Bristol
Question timeQuestion time
16:35Reconvene in Auditorium 2 …
16:45Final Plenary
Chair: James Grant
DRI UpdateJustin O’Byrne, UKRI Digital Research Infrastructure
17:05Sum-up, feedback, next steps
17:10Reception – drinks, light refreshments

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:

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.


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.

UKRI Cloud Workshop 2022: Call for Participation in Organising Committee

The UKRI Cloud Working Group is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the 6th annual UKRI Cloud Workshop at the Francis Crick Institute in London on the 29th March 2022. 

The meeting provides an opportunity for UK researchers and representatives from industry to come together and share best practice and new insights in the application of cloud computing for academic research. Past events have attracted speakers from a range of high-profile organisations including CERN, the UK MetOffice, major UK research infrastructure providers and major public cloud providers and typically attracts between 150-180 attendees.

For the event this coming year, we are extending an invitation to members of the research community and commercial companies to take part in an Organising Committee to run the workshop. Participation in this group will provide an excellent opportunity to gain insights into how cloud is being applied – from the innovative application of technologies to address research questions to addressing practical challenges around policy and use. We would like to encourage participation from a diverse set of backgrounds: you may have experience in aspects of cloud or have been involved in running events before or you may simply have an interest and wish to get involved.

As a member of the committee you will help shape the themes, make a call for abstracts and select submissions for presentations. The group will need to self-organise, coordinate meetings and work closely with the UKRI Cloud Working Group (see: towards the successful delivery of the workshop in March ‘22.

The meeting typically consists of one day of presentations and workshops in two tracks. Previous example can be found at :

We hope to host the workshop in-person, however there may be some element of hybrid, virtual conference or social distancing needed. Planning for multiple eventualities will be needed to ensure the event operates in line with government guidelines and provides opportunities to support remote speakers and attendees. The conference venue is set up to support these different hosting scenarios.

Thoughts from Cloud Workshop 2019

It’s a couple of months since the workshop and plenty of time to let the dust settle and reflect on the content. You can find most of the presentations from the workshop if you look follow the links from programme.

As I mentioned in my introduction at the meeting, I’ve noticed a transition over the past year in the adoption and application of cloud and this evident in the abstracts submitted for this meeting.  There are signs of a maturing – in the first couple of annual workshops we held, cloud usage was very much at the experimental stage with early forays into private cloud deployment and first pilots testing out public capability.   This year there were good examples of sophisticated application of cloud technology whether cloud-native applications like Chris Woods’ – use of serverless to dynamically trigger provision of clusters for batch computing – or in-depth demos of DevOps tooling from StackHPC and others.  

Late last year, the Cloud WG ran a smaller technical meeting with no formal agenda – in ‘unconference’ style.  This gave us an opportunity to do more of a deep dive with DevOps technologies.  The positive feedback we received reflected the value in networking and learning together with peers.  There was something of this continued at this year’s workshop with the afternoon demo session.  It was great to have this in-depth technical input alongside higher level presentations, whether overviews of projects or talks around challenge areas such as policy.  João Fernandes shared about the OCRE project in his presentation.  This builds on the work of the GÉANT IaaS Framework, important for the establishment of agreement with public cloud providers for access to their resources for the research community.  
On the topic of policy, the debate continued around the relative merits of public cloud versus on-premise hosting.   Cliff Addison (University of Liverpool) highlighted the tensions between quantifying benefits, budgeting at scale and maintaining portability between cloud vendors.   Owen Thomas (Red Oak Consulting) challenged assumptions with traditional HPC provision and made the case for assessment of overall value not just cost when making comparisons with public cloud.  Andrew Jones (NAG) argued against absolutes when considering the complexities in making choices for hosting for any given application.   Migration to cloud can present enormous challenges as Tony Wildish’s presentation illustrated.  He provided a walkthrough of different approaches for migration legacy code developed for on-premise to operate efficiently on cloud drawn from EMBL-EBI’s experiences.  Elsewhere in the meeting HEPCloud and UKAEA presentations show how hybrid models can be built up to select the required computing resources from on-premise and public cloud resources.  HEPCloud in particular, illustrating the benefit of public cloud to overspill from research infrastructure in order to meet peaks in demand.  

CRC Canada is an example of a complete public cloud solution architected from the ground up.   What is interesting here is the organisational and culture shifts needed to support that model.  In particular, the set up of dedicated effort for auditing and accounting when moving to a consumption based approach to billing.  Pangeo – presented by the Met Office Informatics Lab – demonstrates another cloud enabled solution but what is of interest is the formation of a collaboration bringing together open source solutions to make a platform that is cloud-ready.  At its core is a virtual research environment built largely on Jupyter and Dask together with use of Kubernetes and deployment glue to make it cloud-agnostic.  This kind of solution fits for data analytics where typically datasets have been imported into a cloud environment and manipulated into a form that is analysis-ready.  Use of BinderHub – shown with Pangeo and Sarah Gibson’s demo (Turing) – allows infrastructure to be dynamically provisioned and scientific workflows conveniently shared via Jupyter Notebooks.    

In general though, examples of long-term hosting of large volumes of research data on public cloud however are still absent.  If there’s a pattern from the sample of submissions for the workshop, it’s one of use of public cloud for compute rather than data storage: continued use of on-premise for long-term hosting of data with some bursting to public cloud for batching computing.  Cloud is utilised as a means to obtain an ephemeral computational resource: set-up an environment, stage data, perform calculation, get results and tear down again.  Even so, there appeared to be an increased awareness of the challenges of data hosting with cloud in some of the questions and discussion in the sessions.  These included issues around hybrid and public cloud and multi-cloud scenarios.  For example, if data is hosted in one cloud, how can it be accessed readily by a client with an existing presence hosted on another cloud?   There are definite signs of progress in the community but clearly there are still big challenges for cloud to be more fully utilised for research workloads.

Technical Workshop November 2018

This week we held a technical workshop with a small, but dedicated group of people. We’ve heard that our large 1 day annual workshop is great, but there are areas where people wanted to have a more in-depth discussion.

The workshop was built around “un-conference” format, where we had two pre-arranged talks but the rest of the day was open for discussion – though we were guided by the topics people suggested as part of the registration process.

The morning session kicked off with some high level discussion of possible topics followed by one of our invited talks – Stig Telfer from StackHPC gave a talk on some performance work they’ve been doing with Ceph to support CRAY and the Human Genome project. It was interesting to note the difference moving to bluestore made to Ceph performance and also how LVM and partition use of the NVMe devices had a huge impact on performance of the storage system. Continue reading →

Technical Workshop, 20 November

In addition to our main annual workshop in February next year, we’re also running a smaller pre-meeting this coming month in central London.   The goal of this event is to provide a space specifically for developers, researchers and devops to take a deep dive into technologies for cloud, share from their own experience and learning from each other.  We’ve deliberately avoided setting a fixed timetable so that we can source topics from attendees on the day.  More details and booking information for the day here:

Make sure to bring your laptop 🙂

Save the date 12 Feb 2019 – next Cloud Workshop

We will be holding our 4th annual workshop early next year on the 12th February 2019.  We’re pleased to be back at our familiar venue the Francis Crick Institute in central London.   Please save the date!

In past years we’ve had a great set of speakers from public cloud companies and major research institutes to individual researchers reporting on how they are exploiting cloud computing to meet their research goals.  More details to follow soon.