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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.


  • Users can request instances with up to 28 cores and 192GB of RAM. Each instance is a virtual machine (VM) in the cloud. A variety of VM configurations are available
  • Users can request persistent disk storage up to 15TB/disk
  • Linux and Windows Server operating systems are supported
  • 10Gbit Ethernet interconnect throughout the cloud infrastructure and to the campus backbone for fast network access. There is no charge for network traffic.
  • CPU cores and RAM are not oversubscribed. An Intel Xeon processor core is behind each core on the virtual server for fast and consistent performance.
  • Control access to your virtual servers by port numbers and IP addresses for maximum flexibility and security
  • We use the Eucalyptus platform, with an Amazon Web Services (AWS) compatible API. You can seamlessly scale to AWS if your research, education, or outreach application outgrows our capacity.
  • Your subscription covers 1 core-year of virtual server usage and 50GB of persistent disk storage. Additional storage can be purchased separately. Your subscription is only charged when you request virtual servers. You can look up your balance at any time. Pay only for what you use with no billing surprises.
  • MATLAB Distributed Computing Server (MDCS) is available on Red Cloud and offers several advantages outlined in our technical wiki. Users must be familiar with MATLAB Parallel Computing Toolbox (PCT) to use MDCS. PCT is included in Cornell's site license. A PCT tutorial is available as a starting point for those not currently using PCT 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 you have. 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

Cornell Exploratory Accounts & Subscriptions

  • Cornell students, faculty, and staff are eligible for a free 4-month Red Cloud exploratory account (165 core hours, 50GB storage, 1 hour consulting).
  • Cornell subscriptions are $400.00 (8,585 core hours and 50GB storage with first subscription). Additional storage is $200.00/TB/year or $0.20/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 $70.05/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.

External Subscriptions

  • External subscriptions for academic institutions, public agencies, and industry are $640.00 (8,585 core hours and 50GB storage with first subscription). Additional storage is $320.00/TB/year or $0.33/GB/year. No network charges.
  • Optional consulting, e.g., building your virtual machine image for you so it’s all set and ready to go, is $152.81/hr. Contact help for assistance in estimating consulting hours.
  • To start an external subscription, use a credit card or create an invoice and mail it with a check to Cornell.

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.


  • Visit the Red Cloud wiki.
  • Still have a question or two? Contact us. We’ll be happy to help.
  • In-depth consulting is available for a fee.

Use Cases

Cornell powers Red Cloud with Eucalyptus
  • Academic labs (always on or provisioned on-demand)
  • Big data analytics
  • Bursting
  • Event-driven science
  • High throughput computing
  • Hybrid computing (seamless bursting from Red Cloud to AWS)
  • MATLAB Distributed Computing Server (MDCS)
  • Parallel computing with Slurm Workload Manager
  • Research wikis
  • Science Gateways
  • Web portals with database backends

Check out Cornell research highlights to see how researchers and educators are using Red Cloud or our latest case study on simulating carbon-cycling enzymes.

An interesting application is the use of Red Cloud as an efficient and cost-effective computer lab for teaching, greatly simplifying machine administration and freeing up space. Instructors can have one or more virtual machine images built with software pre-installed and students can spin up instances during instruction, for homework assignments and for project work.

Sample External Subscribers

Red Cloud is available to academic institutions, public agencies, and industry. Sample subscribers are Columbia University, Moscow Higher School of Economics, Moscow Institute of Physics, Purdue University, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul National University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wisconsin.

Private Clouds Consulting

CAC can also architect and deploy private clouds for Cornell researchers, other universities or industry. These clouds may include special features, e.g., HIPAA compliance. By using the HPE Helion Eucalyptus platform, CAC can deploy private clouds that are capable of seamlessly bursting to public cloud provider AWS.

Contact Us

Contact us if you have questions about Red Cloud services or are interested in discussing the design and deployment of private cloud.