Service announcements

Jisc partners with RONIN to help UK research

Who is this blog post for?

Researchers, Research Leads and Coordinators, Heads of Research, Research Software Engineers.

Why do we think it is important?

RONIN simplifies the use of AWS for research, enabling the configuration of cloud compute and storage to assist in performing analysis and computation.

How will you benefit?

By buying RONIN and AWS through the OCRE Cloud Framework, you will benefit from the RONIN education discount and the AWS consumption discounts available via that framework. The OCRE framework eases procurement processes and speeds up your access to cloud compute and storage capabilities.

What is RONIN?

The RONIN digital research platform enables researchers, analysts, and students to easily launch secure, complex compute and storage resources on AWS within minutes. It enables enterprise-level IT management capability and cost traceability. RONIN provides a method for consuming and managing cloud services for institutions or organizations of any scale. It was designed to remove the dependency on technical know-how, enabling access to vast amounts of compute and storage in seconds.

RONINRONIN’s web-based application helps cloud HPC users consume AWS cloud services in a controlled environment. It enables the creation of auto-scaling clusters that will shut down idle resources on the completion of workloads and assist with key management, networking, and storage requirements. RONIN’s budget manager provides a detailed breakdown of costs for individual machines or across an entire organisation. The RONIN Smart Scheduler allows you to easily automate when your virtual machines will turn on and off with a few simple clicks. To make accessing your virtual machines easier, there is a desktop app called RONIN Link which is available for Windows, Ubuntu, and Mac.

Example capabilities:

  • Launch an RStudio machine
  • Transfer and manage files to AWS
  • Create an auto-scaling HPC cluster
  • Backup data and scale storage
  • Create re-usable machine packages for reproducible research

RONIN’s analysis of the challenges faced by researchers around their use of public cloud identified that there is an overwhelming theme of concerns around technical hurdles and assumed knowledge of cloud tools; these are costing researchers, and their institutions, time and money. RONIN removes these barriers so that researchers can concentrate on their research, avoiding the need to develop IT skills and take on roles such as system administrator, network engineer, and storage manager to manage their cloud computing.

RONIN supports a variety of security and compliance standards, including HIPAA, that require in-depth auditing capabilities, as well as backup and disaster recovery capabilities. Every action that a user makes within RONIN is logged and can be audited. This gives you complete visibility into what changes have been made to data access credentials, when those changes were made, and by whom. RONIN provides intuitive tools for granular protection of data by user and machine to prevent accidental data loss or exposure, and to limit data access according to the principles of least privilege and separation of duties.

RONIN used in Research

Here is a recording given by AWS and the University of Sydney on the use of RONIN in research to save endangered species:

Our partnership

Jisc cloud solutions have partnered with RONIN to help our members and customers take advantage of AWS to conduct research activities. RONIN is a single-cloud solution, only available on AWS and is sold via the AWS Marketplace; a mechanism by which AWS customers can buy SaaS solutions, professional services, and other products from third-party vendors.

Research and education customers, including all Jisc members, are entitled to a significant discount. The discount applies irrespective of whether you are buying your AWS consumption under the OCRE Cloud Framework, OGVA, G-Cloud, or direct award.

Where you are buying AWS under the OCRE Cloud Framework or OGVA, you will benefit from both the RONIN discount and the AWS consumption discounts available via those frameworks. All OCRE customers also benefit from the AWS OCRE egress waiver which provides free data egress (from AWS to Janet) of up to 15% of your overall AWS consumption. Data ingress (from Janet to AWS) is always free.

Note that RONIN is not a new Jisc cloud solutions service a such; rather, it is a new reseller agreement that broadens our AWS portfolio.

Jisc Research Strategy

The RONIN platform also comes with pre-baked enterprise-ready reporting, collaboration, business intelligence, and management information capabilities. RONIN is a key step in the implementation of Jisc’s Research and innovation sector strategy, which focuses on the long-term development of sustainable components for research. One aim of our strategy is to ensure that the technology available to research teams meets the need for rapid implementation and a cost-optimized approach.

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