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A new cloud computing environment will provide Penn State researchers with more versatile, and potentially more cost-effective, computing resource options. Credit: Pixabay

Cost-effective cloud research computing options now available for researchers

Posted on October 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Institute for CyberScience (ICS) announced that a new cloud computing environment has been added to its suite of high-performance computing offerings. This expanded capability provides Penn State researchers with more versatile, and potentially more cost-effective, computing resource options.

The service, which officially launched today, is known as the ICS High-Performance Research Cloud — or HPRC — and represents another option for advanced research computing within the ICS Advanced CyberInfrastructure (ICS-ACI) system. A cluster of computers will serve as the backbone of this on-premises cloud, which will initially comprise more than 6,000 virtual cores available to researchers; plans are that this will increase to 60,000 cores based upon demand.

This new HPRC enables researchers to tap into the power of virtualized supercomputing that can scale based on demand. Researchers can make use of this new resource by purchasing an allocation with ICS.

“HPRC represents a major step forward for advanced computing capability and flexibility at Penn State. The HPRC is entirely integrated into our existing ICS-ACI system and offers the same user experience for researchers,” said Jenni Evans, director of Penn State’s Institute for CyberScience and professor of meteorology and atmospheric science. “Our goal is that the benefits of this ‘behind the scenes’ implementation of technology will enable researchers to be more efficient and will create new opportunities for future research.”

HPRC will also provide additional capability for work involving artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data processing. Directing HPC workloads to commercial, government and academic cloud providers is the next phase for HPRC.

“ICS’ HPRC system will provide computational flexibility for Penn State’s researchers that includes optimizations and cost savings that come from leveraging virtual computing techniques,” said Chuck Pavloski, chief architect in ICS, who played a key role in the development of HPRC. “Increasing our virtualized options provides researchers flexibility in the computing environment. Several researcher workloads are well suited for this environment and we are excited to assist our researchers in utilizing the new offering.”

Rates for HPRC cores are available on the ICS Service Details page (requires Penn State login). To learn more about the High-Performance Research Cloud, contact Derek Leydig at


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