Scientific Cloud Computing

What is SCC?

Scientific Cloud Computing is a new way of doing scientific calculations. You rent a virtual cluster by the hour from a cloud provider, such as Amazon EC2. This saves the hassle of applying for time at a supercomputing center, or buying a cluster, and spending your time installing and configuring software. The Scientific Cloud Cluster comes preconfigured with scientific codes and tools, and it's set up for parallel computing. Now you can easily run high-performance calculations from your laptop. Getting started is a breeze, and you pay as you go.

The SCC Platform contains:

  • SC2VP
  • The Scientific Cloud Computing Virtual Platform, a scientific virtual machine prototype (AMI) for the Amazon EC2 cloud; it is preloaded with materials science software and scientific libraries and tools
  • SC2IT
  • The Scientific Cloud Computing Interface Tools, a toolset that lets you create and manage virtual cloud clusters using simple commands
  • A Java-based GUI for the FEFF9 spectroscopy code that can work in the cloud from your machine - no commandline work needed


There has long been concern that Cloud Computing could not deliver the performance needed for parallel scientific computing.  With recent improvements in Cloud infrastructure, we have found that cloud computing is now efficient enough for state-of-the-art parallellized scientific calculations .