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Cloud Computing Services

Red Cloud

Red Cloud is a subscription-based Infrastructure as a Service cloud that provides root access to virtual servers and storage on-demand. The cost is less than comparable public cloud instances. Cornell students, faculty, and staff are eligible for a 4-month Red Cloud Exploratory Account that provides you with 165 core hours, 50GB storage, and 1 hour consulting help for free.



  • Create instances (virtual machines) with up to 128 CPU cores and 240GB RAM that deploy in seconds. Choose from a variety of configurations that fit the needs of your applications.
  • Unlike most public cloud instances, Red Cloud CPU cores and RAM are not oversubscribed or shared. Users have full access to the underlying physical processor and memory without competition for fast and consistent performance.
  • Your subscription is only charged when your instances are running.
  • NVIDIA T4, V100, and A100 GPU instances are available.
  • Supported operating systems: Linux and Windows.


A Ceph cluster with 1.9PB of raw capacity provides the following storage capabilities:

  • Volumes - persistent disk storage that can be attached to and detached from cloud instances on demand.
  • Object Storage - this object storage is Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service)-compatible. Access the object storage with any Amazon S3 client and SDK, or via the "Red Cloud Object Storage" collection on Globus.
  • Distributed File System - Linux instances can mount a reliable and high performance CephFS distributed file system.
  • Your first subscription includes 50GB storage. Additional storage may be purchased separately.


  • 40 Gigabit connectivity and direct connectivity to Cornell's 100 Gigabit Internet2 link.
  • Control access by port and IP addresses for maximum security.
  • No charge for network traffic.

User Interface

  • Red Cloud runs on the OpenStack platform. Manage cloud resources using the Red Cloud web console, OpenStack command line clients, or any development libraries supporting the OpenStack API.


  • Virtual HPC Cluster with Slurm Scheduler - deploy a virtual HPC cluster in Red Cloud using the Slurm Cluster in OpenStack tool or Contact us to manage your virtual cluster at a reasonable cost. See the Matt Marx case study for an example of a virtual cluster in the cloud research project.
  • MATLAB Parallel Server - users must be familiar with MATLAB Parallel Computing Toolbox (PCT) to use MATLAB Parallel Server. PCT is included in Cornell's site license. A PCT tutorial is available or you may add our consulting services to your project when you start it up and we will help you with PCT or any other problems. In addition to PCT, specific MATLAB clients must be installed on your local workstation. See assumptions for the MATLAB clients we support and other project start-up information.
  • Other applications, see "Software on Red Cloud."
  • Note - Red Cloud is not suitable for Cornell high-risk or restricted data, or for state or federally regulated data. Data stored on Red Cloud is not backed up by default; users are responsible for their own backups. EZ-Backup is a solution available for Cornell users.

Subscription Unit

  • 1 Red Cloud subscription = 8,585 core hours
  • 8,585 core hours = approximately 1 core running for 1 year
  • Core hours are like a Starbucks card. You can use a subscription up fast by using many cores over a short period of time or slowly by using, for example, just 1 core for 1 year. They are good until they’re gone. The subscription model prevents billing surprises.

Subscriptions for Cornell Users

  • Cornell subscriptions are $300.00 (8,585 core hours and 50GB storage with first subscription). Additional storage is $100.00/TB/year or $0.10/GB/year. No network charges. Discounts are available for multiple subscriptions (8 subscriptions = 10% discount; 16 subscriptions = 20% discount; 32 subscriptions = 30% discount; and, 64 subscriptions = 40% discount).
  • Optional consulting, e.g., building your virtual machine image for you so it’s all set and ready to go, is $85.80/hr. Contact help for assistance in estimating consulting hours.
  • To start your subscription, complete a project request form. A Cornell University account number is required to charge back to.

Subscriptions for External Organizations

  • Red Cloud subscriptions are available to external organizations (start-ups, business and industry, universities, R&D centers, not-for-profits, etc.) through fee-based CAC Partner Program memberships.
  • Optional consulting hours may be included in your Partner Program membership to build a cloud image for you, containerize your application for portability, support your web-based application, architect a private cloud, etc.
  • Contact Paul Redfern, Partner Program Director.