SURF Research Cloud is a (mere) portal

The Research Cloud portal at is the hub of our service.

More than that: SURF Research Cloud is actually meant to be "nothing more" than a portal to different cloud providers.

SURF's own "HPC Cloud" is one of them. All projects that are funded by NWO-grants get deployed here.

Other projects might just as well use public/commercial clouds. These clouds are offered on terms that SURF has negotiated with these services.

A few keywords

Even though we have a glossary here, it seems like a good idea to explain a few key-concepts and terms upfront:

  • collaboration
  • wallet
  • workspace

Collaboration ("CO")

Collaboration between scientists is a main pillar of Research Cloud. We use SURF's SRAM service SURF Research Access Management to identify users and whom they collaborate with.

Probably the first thing you do when getting on board is accepting an invitation to a SRAM-collaboration. If you work on your own, you might be the only member, but obviously, collaborations are made to accommodate teams as well.

Being a member of a collaboration entitles you to log in to the Research Cloud portal.

Logging in to a workspace is yet something else than logging in to the portal - see the paragraph "Workspace" below.


On Research Cloud, a wallet represents (a share of) a budget that has been granted to a project.

The wallet links it's owner to a particular amount of credits that they can spend on using compute and storage resources.

Requesting a wallet from a contract's or a grant's budget is probably the second thing you do when you start using Research Cloud.


On Research Cloud we call any kind of compute-resource a workspace. Right now, this translates directly to "Virtual Machine". But we will offer containers in the near future, too.

To log in to a workspace of one of your collaborations, you use the username that is given on the profile-tab of the portal. For more details on login-credentials refer to the page "Log in to your workspace".

In the portal you can see all the workspaces that are running for the collaborations you are in.

Unless the collaboration has chosen for custom-configuration, you can also log in to all these workspaces.

This is supposed to be a short overview.

Still we hope that the few terms given here will make it easier for you to find your way in the documentation and the portal itself.

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