back to article Edinburgh University to flog its supercomputer for £0.0369 per core hour

The University of Edinburgh's supercomputer, Cirrus, is now being rented to businesses for their mega-performance computing needs. Cirrus is housed at the University's Advanced Computing Facility at Easter Bush, which also hosts the UK's national supercomputing service, ARCHER, although it doesn't really compare to ARCHER's …

  1. Natalie Gritpants

    So by reckoning if you use all the cores it's £7,439.04 per hour. It will have paid for itself in 134 hours (just over a week). Doesn't sound like a bargain.

    1. I_am_Chris

      Only capital cost

      The £1m will be purely for the hardware. Running costs will be continuous and substantial. And, of course, is being run for a profit.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      £74.39/hour. It will take 560 days of continuous 100% use to pay off the hardware. I assume they're also using it to heat a swimming pool, thus offsetting some running costs?

    3. stanimir

      >> 134 hours (just over a week)

      A week consists of 168 hours. Of course the computer needs a lot of power and cooling, so paying off won't happen all that fast.

  2. I_am_Chris

    3.69 pence not pounds

    "Time on Cirrus is charged at £0.0369 per core hour (exclusive of VAT)." From your link in the article. You're 100x out.

    Seriously El Reg I'd expect better from you.

    That's within the Amazon t2.medium ($0.056 per hour) territory. Quite competitive really.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: 3.69 pence not pounds

      Yes, we made a mistake, now corrected.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 3.69 pence not pounds

      Couldn't they have priced it at £0.0314159 per hour?

  3. frank ly


    It was destined to be used for cloud computing.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Cirrus

      Not enough energy in it. I am going to wait until it becomes a proper Cumulonimbus. Then we can start putting some jobs on the anvil and talking some proper business. One with a spark.

  4. Anonymous IV

    Edinburgh gets in quick before the Met Office!

    One is expecting to see the Met Office in Exeter doing something similar in Spring 2017, when its contract with the BBC (mostly) finishes, leaving ITV still using the Met Office for weather guessing forecasting.

    1. wikkity

      Re: Edinburgh gets in quick before the Met Office!

      Say what you want about the met office, the forecasts for a particular location are good. The TV broadcasts are rubbish as you have to expect with a country where it's possible to drive out of a fog covered town into clear sunny weather and into rain all within a few miles. Just slapping on a generalised cloud or sun for several counties is just that, generalised.

      Their climate models on the other hand, seem to predict whatever they get more money more to plough into research. At least this appeared to be the case 5+ years ago, not looked at them for a long time.

  5. Known Hero

    so your saying i can mine bitcoin for an hour for free ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did they remember yet to do degrading boring things that realworld plebs do, like backups and fire suppression systems? Seems they didn't used to be too interested in such things ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      EdUni and fire

      If you're referring to the AI department on South Bridge, it's a very, very different team at the EPCC.

      Also, I have a mate in there who knows full well the value of backups, so he'll be all over that to the point of making himself a real headache for those who aren't!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: EdUni and fire

        From the docs:

        There is currently a single filesystem available on Cirrus: the /lustre filesystem. This filesystem is a collection of three high-performance, parallel Lustre filesystems.


        NB Currently, the /lustre filesystem are not backed-up in any way.

  7. ChubbyBehemoth

    Ehm,.. how about memory and storage?

    Or is this something that could be used as a very cheap web server using only one core and few MB of persistent data?

  8. Alister Silver badge

    At Last!

    I'll be able to calculate my expenses correctly, where do I sign up?

  9. Korev Silver badge

    Information security etc?

    Have they got people prepared to work with Industry regarding information security, lifecycle etc. We [big pharma] have a lot of rules* that we have to follow and the academic institutions I've worked with usually are surprised by this.

    *Some are sensible eg patient confidentiality

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes but can it run Crysis ?

    1. ToddR

      Is it the same person that says, "can it run Crysis", after every supercomputer article?

      It may have been funny the first time, but not the second certainly not anymore, so stop, it's embarrassing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sounds like reading this type of comment puts you in a state of crisis.

  11. harmjschoonhoven

    64.000$ question

    What will the University of Edinburgh charge for printing the output? Did they make a deal with the printer ink mafia?

  12. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    That reminds me, I must catch up on this season's Archer.

  13. David Haworth 1

    Obligatory outdated Slashdot meme

    Wow! A 36-core processor!

    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

  14. JJKing Silver badge

    Now where did I put my old copy of Doom......

  15. Halfmad Silver badge


    But can it run Crysis?

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