Bringing Research IT platforms closer to you

by | Oct 26, 2020 | Edge compute, Projects | 4 comments

Closer to you — the RIT Edge Compute Service

Research IT has run popular and successful centralised platforms for many years, such as the Computational Shared Facility (CSF) and Research Data Storage (RDS, aka Isilon). We are now launching our Edge Compute service, bringing fully supported compute and storage platforms closer to you.

This new service will provide the research community with capabilities for computationally/data intensive work where the use of centrally-hosted platforms is impractical, not appropriate or must be augmented with additional functionality.

A common use case is where very large amounts of data are generated locally which should be screened, pre-processed or analysed interactively or visually, before upload to Research IT and other platforms. Another is where local processing is required for instrument data before forwarding to central data stores.

For further information, see the Edge Compute project article from last October.


How could the service benefit me?

This service will help you to formalise the design and costing of project-specific IT platforms in order to assist research grant bid development. Use of this service will also speed up provision of your project-specific platform upon bid success.

The service eliminates the requirement, in almost all cases, for researchers to design, procure, implement and manage their own IT platforms. (Exceptional cases include those where the IT platform itself is the subject of research.)


What are the components of the service, and what service packages are available?

The service will include a standard ‘menu’ of high-performance workstations, local storage and fast network infrastructure. Professional support options are available, including remote management of local platforms by IT Services. The service will also offer consultative co-design of Edge capabilities to address the requirements of any given research project.

The following service packages will be offered:



How can I access the service?

If you would like to request use of this service, you can complete the following form on the IT Support Centre:

To access this form, you will first need to ensure you are logged into the Support Portal. You will then need to paste the link above into your browser and it will take you to the correct form to request the Edge Compute service.


Is this a chargeable service?

The Edge Compute and Satellite Storage service is a chargeable IT service.

There are two options for costing:

  1. If un-supported, the charge will be for 4 days of initialisation and deployment work at Grade 6.
  2. If supported (for minimum one year), only the support will be charged, at 0.1 FTE.


How can I find out more?

On Thursday 26 November, we will be hosting a webinar so you can learn more about the service.

This webinar will introduce the edge compute service and cover topics such as:

  • What is edge compute
  • How it can benefit your research
  • How to request access to the service
  • Costs of the service
  • Future developments

There will also be an opportunity for open Q&A at the end of the webinar.


If you are unable to make this webinar, we will be recording it and publishing it on the RLP newsletter. You can sign up to the newsletter here:



  1. Peter Crowther

    Is this service suitable for researchers handling data that is each of:
    – Restricted;
    – Highly Restricted;
    – Special category;
    – Regulated to e.g. ICH-GCP or ICH-GLP?

    If it is not, please signpost to the service that provides appropriately secure edge compute.

    • Fiona

      Hello Peter,

      The service will work with researchers to establish what can be done.

      Regarding restricted data:
      This may be possible dependent on initial conversations between Research IT and the researchers.

      Regarding highly restricted, special category and regulated data:
      These are outside the service design and capabilities. The Data Safe Haven + will be launched by the end of January 2021 for storing highly restricted data.

      Secure data handling comes with it own costs, as this is a chargeable service. It is expected that research projects have discussed their requirements and obtained cost estimates before submission of grant proposals.

      • Peter Crowther

        DSH+, as I understand it, is a central (cloud-based) service. So it is secure, but not edge.

        This solution appears to be edge, but not secure.

        It seems that there is no home for secure edge.

        What do projects and centres do when they need secure edge compute and storage – for example when running a LIMS that is used to drive lab robots and store results directly from instruments?

        • Fiona

          Edge Compute is a new service which we believe can address the majority of use cases for which the service was developed. The requirement to host highly-restricted data at the edge is not something the service can yet address. We would be happy to consult on such use cases and work on this collaboratively.


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