UCL Information Services Division


Supporting research web applications with CloudLabs

13 February 2018

The Research Software Development Group are working on a new project called CloudLabs, which will help UCL researchers to create custom websites and applications for research projects. The aim is to make setting up a website or spinning up virtual computing resources on the cloud as painless as possible with a fully automated service that simplifies the design, setup and maintenance of new sites.

Eventually, the CloudLabs service will:

  • Support automatic provisioning of virtual machines either from a range of templates or users’ own version controlled configuration manifests.
  • Provide domain names under a “UCL labs” space.
  • Include the option to add the UCL Indigo template for responsive web design and UCL branding.
  • Include a free tier to make it easy to get started.
  • Optionally: scale elastically in response to changing demand up to an agreed cost limit.

It’s early days for the project, but RSDG have already put together two sites as a proof of concept and are now working with pilot users to develop the service further. For an idea of the kind of applications the service could support, have a look at Prof. David Colquhoun’s False Positive Risk calculator (recently featured in Nature), and Dr Tim Levine’s tool for Structural bioinformatics with HHYeast.