External IT resources for researchers

Compute resources


ARCHER2 is the latest UK National Supercomputing Service. The ARCHER Service started in November 2013 and was expected to run for 5 years.‌

ARCHER2 now provides a capability resource to allow researchers to run simulations and calculations that require large numbers of processing cores working in a tightly-coupled, parallel fashion.


ARCHIE-WeST is a regional supercomputer centre at the University of Strathclyde - dedicated to research excellence and wealth creation in the West of Scotland.

  • Funded by EPSRC, we operate in partnership with the Universities of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian, West of Scotland and Stirling.
  • The centre was established in March 2012 by a £1.6M award from the EPSRC e-Infrastructure fund to establish a regional centre of excellence in High Performance Computing. The aim of the centre is to provide High Performance Computing capability for Academia, Industry and Enterprise in the West of Scotland.
  • Find out more information about access costs. As a partner institution, researchers at the University of Glasgow get preferential rates.


In December 2009 the new STFC Facility DiRAC, was established to provide distributed High Performance Computing (HPC) services.‌

  • HPC-based modelling is an essential tool for the exploitation of observational and experimental facilities in astronomy and particle physics, as this technology allows scientists to test their theories and run simulations from the data gathered in experiments.
  • The UK has an extremely strong HPC community and these powerful computing facilities allows the UK science community to pursue cutting-edge research on a broad range of topics, from simulating the entire evolution of the universe, from the big bang to the present, to modelling the fundamental structure of matter. DiRAC is both an academic-led and academic supervised Facility, which allowed the systems to be designed specifically around the different high performance computational needs within this scientific community.

Data storage resources


The UK Research Data Facility (UK-RDF), funded by EPSRC and NERC, is collocated with ARCHER2 and is housed at the ACF facility.‌

The Research Councils' vision behind the RDF:

  • Provide a high capacity robust file store;
  • Persistent infrastructure - will last beyond any one national service;
  • Easily extensible in size and number of hosts - degree of future proofing and potential for increasing local post processing activities;
  • Operates independently of any one vendor's offering for compute;
  • Remotely accessible via an Edinburgh host - not restricted to through login nodes;

Will remove end of service data issues include

  • Transfers at end of services have become increasingly lengthy
  • Will also ensure that data from the current ARCHER service is secured - this will ensure a degree of soft landing if there is ever a gap in National Services

Please note that RDF is moving to RDFasaservive 

  • RDF filesystems - Resilient, long-term, GPFS data storage
  • Non-NERC users will be still able to access data within /epsrc and agreed /general projects from ARCHER
  • The ARCHER2 Systems team will migrate the /epsrc and agreed /general data to the new RDFasaservice System. Further details will be provided when available.

Resources for specific areas of research


JASMIN provides the UK and European climate and earth-system science communities with an efficient data analysis environment. Many datasets, particularly model data, are too big to be easily shipped around: JASMIN enables scientists to bring their processing to the data‌

  • JASMIN provides new ways for scientists to collaborate in self-managing group workspaces, enabling models and algorithms to be evaluated alongside curated archive data, and for data to be shared and evaluated before being deposited in the permanent archive
  • JASMIN enables CEDA to carry out its mission of data curation and facilitation more efficiently. Fast, parallel, scalable storage provides a home for in-demand archive data, while a virtualised server infrastructure provides a more capable base for delivery of CEDA's data centre services to the science community.

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) 

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area.

  • The scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in both engineering and research & development towards building and delivering a unique instrument, with the detailed design and preparation now well under way.
  • As one of the largest scientific endeavours in history, the SKA will bring together a wealth of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers to bring the project to fruition.


Administrative Data Research UK gives accredited researchers access to linked, de-identified administrative data in a secure environment.

By joining up the abundance of administrative data already being created by government and public bodies across the UK and making it available to approved researchers in a safe and secure way, we are enabling vital research that has the potential to lead to better informed policy decisions and more effective public services, in areas from improving education and healthcare to tackling crime.

NSS National Safe Haven

National Services Scotland (NSS) is a secure environment in which data are linked and accessed. This environment provides a high powered computing service, secure analytic environment, secure file transfer protocol for receipt of data, and provision of a range of analytic software (SPSS, STATA, SAS and R). The IT infrastructure is supported by Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC).

  • Access is provided via a secure access point, a physically secure area containing a computer with no external devices e.g. disc, CD, USB drives or printer access, or remotely via an accredited organisation’s PC / laptop.
  • This allows trusted and authorised researchers to analyse linked individual level data while maintaining the utmost confidentiality.


The GridPP Collaboration was formed to cater for the substantial computing demands of the Large Hadron Collider experiments, representing the UK in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG).

As the GridPP community has grown and evolved, however, many user communities from a wide range of disciplines have taken advantage of the computing resources offered by GridPP.


Useful communities