A glossary of the most important concepts in Research Cloud.

Collaboration (CO)

A Collaboration is an ad hoc group that you can easily start. That way, you can invite other researchers to join your efforts in Research Cloud.

In Research Cloud, all things concerning identity and collaboration are based on the SURF Research Access Management Service (SRAM).

See also Working together.


A workspace is a running environment where you can execute an application and connect to datasets.
You can share workspaces with your team in a collaboration.

But your collaboration might just as well be your private one, where you are the only member.


A component is a script that is able to set up a particular configuration in a new workspace. Components are the building blocks for catalog items.

Catalog item

Technically, a catalog item is a combination of components. The catalog item determines the configuration and the software that will be present on a newly created workspace.


The subscription determines for a workspace which resource type (virtual machine, cluster ...) is run on which cloud on whose expenses.

By selecting one of the subscription's flavours, you can choose how big in terms of cores and memory your workspace will be.

Deployment script

Typically a Terraform script that creates a compute resource on Research Cloud. The used system-image and the targeted cloud are the main characteristics of a deployment script.

Which deployment script is used to initiate a workspace is implicitly defined by the subscription that is chosen for an catalog item.


When starting a workspace in the Research Cloud portal, you can specify one or more datasets that you want attached.

It depends on your collaboration memberships, which datasets you can select from.

Research Cloud portal

Is the web-application that lets you interact with Research Cloud through your webbrowser:



A wallet holds the budget for your use of the Research Cloud. When you create a workspace you need to assign a wallet that can be charged for the use of the resources.


A Research Cloud user who is entitled to create and edit catalog items for the CO s/he is appointed developer in.