Cloud Computing Support

The Berkeley Research Computing (BRC) Cloud Computing Support program offers consulting assistance, documentation, and tools to help faculty and other campus researchers obtain access to and effectively use cloud computing resources.

BRC Cloud Computing Support can help you:

  • Determine if the cloud is a good fit for your computational requirements.
  • Plan for and manage costs of cloud computing.
  • Gain access to cloud computing resources, both for research and research-related instruction.

Get started!

We welcome Berkeley faculty, staff, postdocs, and grad students at all levels of expertise to schedule time with our consultants, even at the very earliest stages of your research, for any size computational requirements you may have. Our standard consulting services are free of charge.

You can contact us by sending email to the following address:

Please include the following in your request: a brief description of your project, the software and data you're using, and what stage you are at in your research process.

To see a list of some of the resources to which we facilitate access, please visit the overview of BRC facilitated resources.

Video introduction

(Research IT's Patrick Schmitz summarizes Cloud Computing and Consulting Support - notwithstanding the thumbnail image displayed here - from the Berkeley Research Computing Town Hall meeting on May 28, 2015.)

About the Cloud Consulting services

Berkeley Research Computing (BRC) Cloud Consulting services identify cloud resources that are well-matched to the needs of UC Berkeley researchers, and facilitate access to those resources.

Cloud resources may be provided by external vendors (such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft), national centers (such as XSEDE or NERSC), or by BRC itself. There is no cost to researchers for these consulting services, within manageable limits.

Here's what you can expect from the BRC Cloud consultants:

Engage with researchers to match requirements with appropriate cloud resources

  • Review computing and data requirements for research uses to identify where those uses translate well to cloud resources.
  • Assist researchers in identifying the set of cloud services that efficiently and effectively address their computational and storage requirements.
  • Simplify the use of commonly used software stacks across multiple cloud platforms.
  • Provide documentation, training, guidance, and referrals for translating commonly-encountered computing requirements into patterns suited for efficient and cost-effective use of cloud resources for instruction and research.
  • Help researchers working with sensitive data identify whether and how they can appropriately work with that data on cloud resources.

Facilitate access to cloud resources

  • Assist researchers in obtaining provider grants.
  • Provide support for incorporating cloud computing resource costs into funding proposals.
  • Publish documentation and provide consulting to help researchers benefit from campus contracts and guidelines.
  • Assist researchers to manage costs and/or transfer times for moving data to and from cloud resources.

Automate cloud provisioning

  • Provide automated provisioning scripts, ‘best practices’ examples, documentation, and consulting to support integrations with cloud providers that address specific types of campus research and instruction.
  • Allow PIs to conveniently manage, and delegate the management of, cloud provider accounts to postdocs, graduate student researchers (GSRs), or others.
  • Allow instructors to conveniently manage, and delegate the management of, cloud provider accounts to graduate student instructors (GSIs) or others.
  • Help PIs and instructors to control and gain clearer insights into cloud costs via billing alerts, mechanisms to limit unintended overages, and best practices documentation.

Contact information