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Scientific Computing Service

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the best IT-equipped academic research centres anywhere in the UK, following major investment in data storage and computing.

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Image: Slough Data Centre. Credits: Scientific Computing service

Our Scientific Computing team provides specialist comprehensive digital services to our researchers, ensuring that their research runs as efficiently as possible.

Infrastructure group

The Infrastructure Group offers premium services in High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Large Scale Storage. Our all-purpose cluster, “Alma”, is equipped with 24 CPU nodes with 48 cores/384GB RAM, 5 V100 GPU nodes, and 1.3PiB of scratch storage based on IBM Spectrum Scale, making it ideal for resource-intensive projects.

We also provide a 7PiB storage platform based on IBM Spectrum Scale, a Digital Archive Service (DAS) to archive data in an immutable form for long-term storage, and External Data Sharing (EDS) services including ZendTo and Globus for secure and large-scale data transfer provision.

Our expert staff are also available to provide user support and advice around ‘job’ support, application installation and support for the cluster, and quota management, data movement and data permissions on the Research Data Storage (RDS) service.

Research Data Management (RDM) group

The RDM Group offers comprehensive services to support research data management needs. We offer data holding and transfer services, Data Management Plans (DMPs), and planning and documentation services. Our team of experts provides best practice advice, training, and support for research data management activities. We also provide essential services for users of the RDS, DAS, and data transfer services. In addition, we specialize in operating and supporting other data, application and communication services such as Slack.

Software group

The Software Group provides software development expertise and training. We take on small- to medium-sized projects (no more than three months' development time) and span different research areas and themes. Our experienced Research Software Engineers (RSEs) provide diverse development backgrounds and can advise on best practice in software development, including specific language support. We also provide application support and application installation and configuration on the HPC cluster.

In addition, the Software Group offers version control support through our GitLab service and the ICR GitHub identity. Training and best practice support for version control is also a part of our general training and support activities. We aim to provide ICR researchers with the best software development support, expertise and training available.

"As we keep pace with developments in our field, the volume of data produced by our instruments becomes almost overwhelming. Without the Scientific Computing team and the data infrastructure they provide we would be unable to store and process this data.”

Dr Chris Richardson
Computer Manager, Structural Biology

For more information, contact Dr Ian Giddings, Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Scientific Computing Facility and Head of Research Data Management, on ian.giddings@icr.ac.uk.