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Building the Dardel Cloud

Ilari Korhonen & Mustafa Arif, PDC

PDC is currently in the process of building a new cloud platform, known as the Dardel Cloud, which is targeted at researchers who wish to build and run their own application stacks in dedicated virtual environments. Users will be able to deploy domain-specific portal services, run less compute-intensive workflows, utilise virtual machines for hosting databases, and implement data curation pipelines and data sharing services as well as interactive and collaborative work using interactive frameworks like Jupyter notebooks. This platform will enable researchers to utilise cloud computing and storage resources through PDC and thus be able to benefit from both the close proximity of high-performance computing (HPC) resources, as well as the expertise in scientific computing at PDC.

In the first stage of the cloud, PDC will offer IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) in the form of Virtual Machines (VM) of different sizes and operating environments. In the future, we are planning to build upon this by offering more types of services, such as container runtime environments. The Dardel Cloud is expected to be generally available early next year, and the plan is for the first pilot users to be onboarded during the last quarter of this year.

The cloud platform will come with a large-scale object store based on Ceph (a highly scalable open-source software-defined storage solution designed to address today’s high-growth storage requirements). The initial gross capacity of this storage will be slightly above 1 PB. This object store will also be accessible through an S3 interface – this is a type of interface that is widely used in public clouds. This will make the Dardel Cloud storage system much more suitable for data sharing in accordance with the FAIR principles, which aim to ensure that data is “Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable”.

Together with our service providers IP Solutions and Engin IT, PDC is working on making the Dardel Cloud a secure compute and storage resource that can be used for research on advanced science challenges together with the Dardel HPC system.