The University of Bath has had an on-site high-performance computing (HPC) facility for a long time, but they believed public cloud could offer HPC users more flexibility. To verify this, they tested key software applications used in HPC to see if they could work as well in a pre-production Microsoft Azure public cloud environment and to assess the cost implications. The 12-month test showed that functionality in Azure was at least as good as in the current HPC set-up. It also highlighted implications for the future of research, notably that enhanced scalability allows researchers to work more efficiently and in ways that suit their own workflows, without having to plan their requests for compute time and then wait for it to become available.
The OCRE Cloud Framework played a key part in the decision-making process because the procurement team is confident that the framework delivers cloud solutions that are robust, EU-compliant, scalable, and tailored to the needs of higher education. The university’s senior management signed off on the proposal to migrate to public cloud and, the university began its move to production in summer 2021.
If you would like to know more about how the University of Bath arrived at its decision and how they obtained OCRE funding worth £150,000, please refer to this case study.