AWS Makes Cloud and HPC Budgeting More Predictable for Scientists

The pace of research is no longer limited by the availability of computing resources. Researchers are beginning to rely on cloud computing to drive breakthrough science at breakneck speeds and AWS wants to fuel the pace of new discoveries by making it possible for all scientists to have their very own supercomputers in the cloud.

Today, AWS committed to making it easier for scientists to use its cloud storage, computing, and database services by waiving data egress fees for qualified researchers and academic customers; these are fees associated with “data transfer out from AWS to the Internet.” The maximum discount is 15% of total monthly spending on AWS services, which is several times the usage we typically see among our research customers. However, there is no cost to upload data into AWS, or move data between Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

The agreement has been supported through ongoing discussions with Jisc in the UK, GÉANT in Europe, and DLT in the United States, which provide network infrastructure and supporting cloud services to education and research institutions around the world.

“Having predictability and stability in costs is one of the major challenges for researchers in adopting cloud services, so it’s welcome news that AWS is removing egress charges for academic customers. There’s a real opportunity here for cloud computing to become as ubiquitous to research as it is in the commercial market, and with it bring a massive boon to the sector, supporting more efficient, collaborative and innovative research outputs,” said Dan Perry, director of product and marketing at Jisc.

Professor Tony Hey, chief data scientist for the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC), said, “I am delighted that AWS is taking this step to remove uncertainty about egress charging for research use of their cloud infrastructure, following extensive discussions with Jisc and GÉANT. I often hear from researchers that the perception that they will receive large bills for data downloads has discouraged them from considering commercial cloud providers for their compute and data requirements. The cloud has a huge amount to offer in terms of agility and efficiency gains, and also unique capabilities in areas such as machine learning. This is a very welcome development from AWS, and I hope that other cloud providers will move swiftly to follow suit.”

By reducing data egress fees, AWS will to help scientists launch their first computing machine in minutes, analyze data pipelines, and store petabytes of data in the cloud, ultimately accelerating time-to-science.

*This article first appeared on aws.amazon.com. Picture courtesy of GÉANT.

 

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