UKRI Cloud-WG meeting – 23rd April 2018

UKRI Cloud-WG meeting
23rd April 2018
Imperial College


  • Philip Kershaw, STFC
  • Tim Cutts, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
  • Adam Huffman, University of Oxford
  • Steve Hindmarsh, Francis Crick Institute
  • Jeremy Yates, University College London/STFC DiRAC
  • David Colling, Imperial College
  • David Salmon, Jisc
  • Martin Hamilton, Jisc


  • David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh (phone)
  • Paul Calleja, University of Cambridge
  • Simon Thompson, University of Birmingham
  • Steven Newhouse, EMBL-EBI

Notes & action items

  1. ACTION Steve to put a hold on 10th/11th December at the Crick in anticipation of holding two day cloud summit, lunchtime to lunchtime
  2. Planning for the projected technical workshop is under way – ACTION Phil to progress venue and dates
  3. Tim and Steve advised that they would both send staff from their areas to present at the technical workshop, and Adam would represent the Big Data Institute. ACTION Steven to nominate EMBL-EBI representatives
  4. The group discussed international activities that could help to inform its thinking. ACTION Adam to send additional contacts to Phil re. NeCTAR
  5. The group discussed key considerations on research use of cloud technologies, such as:
    • understanding and controlling costs for public cloud
    • predictability and transparency more generally, e.g. latency introduced by virtualisation overheads
    • cloud mobility and definition/use of hybrid cloud + regional and national facilities – why to use which and when
    • effectiveness of egress waivers and other instruments for managing research use of public cloud such as private connections (e.g. Azure ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Connect)
    • access to novel hardware for testing and development at scale, e.g. FPGA, GPU + immediate access to facilities rather than lag time associated with procurement and commissioning
    • exigences of cloud services, e.g. need to code defensively when using ephemeral resources such as the AWS spot market
    • what is the UK’s national strategic interest in terms of cloud technologies for research? e.g. impact of legislation such as the PATRIOT Act
    • clarification from government about data classification and use of internationally hosted/operated cloud services, e.g. 100,000 Genomes project, UK Biobank
  6. Date of next meeting – telco on Monday 21st May