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Cornell University

BioHPC Cloud computing

A computing environment for biologists who want to learn or know how to perform bioinformatics data analysis themselves.

What is BioHPC Cloud

BioHPC Cloud is a linux-based set of High Performance Computing (HPC) resources that can be accessed remotely. BioHPC Cloud has large memory machines and fast processing units that allow you to run long or complex computational jobs that you could not run on your desktop computer.

When you log onto BioHPC Cloud, you have immediately access to hundreds of software titles that are commonly used for bioinformatics analyses. BioHPC Cloud computers also keep copies of some of the commonly used reference genomes so you don't have to download and install them.

Because BioHPC Cloud computers run Linux, and because bioinformatics analyses can be complex, the Bioinformatics Facility organizes educational workshops to help you use BioHPC Cloud and learn new state-of-the-art techniques to analyze your data.


Investigators have access to 80 computing servers with up to 1024GB RAM, 112 cores and 12TB local storage. Some servers are equipped with GPU (graphics processing units) for enhanced performance of deep learning algorithms and other data-intensive processes. Over 500 open-source software titles for biologists (biostatistics, next-gen sequencing, population genetics analysis etc.) are pre-installed on our machines. New software can be added upon request.

Develop and Configure

You can deploy custom programs with incredible flexibility through Docker containers and development tools offered by the facility. Data is transferred to and from other resources or collaborators with standard protocols sftp/scp or Globus platform

Reserve and Access

Registered users can make reservations using an online calendar-based scheduler. All workstations are accessible remotely with ssh or VNC. To use the computing resources of BioHPC Cloud for the first time, you need to register, create an account, and attend a training session.

Once you have completed these two steps, you are ready to access BioHPC Cloud. All you will need to do is:

  1. Purchase computing hours. You can buy hours by clicking "Add Hours" link in "Action" column on "My Lab Credit Accounts" page. Each new Cornell PI is entitled to a free credit of 100hrs.
  2. Reserve access time with our calendar-based online scheduler. Your account will be charged by wall clock hours used (down to appropriate fraction of an hour). You are only charged for the the hours you actually used. If you cancel your reservation before it starts, nothing is charged. If you cancel before it ends, only the actual hours between start and cancellation are charged.

Access BioHPC Cloud computing environment

Another way to use our resources is through membership. This allows you to use continuously the types of machines listed in the table below with some limits. The limits are 'rolling'. This means that they have to be met an any given time, but get updated over time. For example if you make the maximum length reservation now, you will be able to extend it by one day tomorrow at the same time.

Terminology of computational resources

  • general machines: 16 and 24GB, up to 8 cores and 4TB HDD.
  • medium gen1: 64 and 256 GB RAM machines, with 16 to 40 cores; 8TB HDD or a mix of 4TB HDD + 1TB SSD).
  • large gen1: 512GB RAM machines, with up to 112 cores, and 12TB HDD + 1TB SSD fast storage.
  • gpu-equipped gen1: 256 GB RAM machines, with 32 cores, 12 TB HHD + 2 x NVIDIA TESLA P100 cards
  • extra-large: 1024GB RAM machines, with up to 112 cores, 12TB HDD, 1TB SSD.

See all the computing resources

Service pricing

BioHPC Cloud computing
General machines Go to BioHPC pricing page
Medium memory machines Go to BioHPC pricing page
Large-memory machines Go to BioHPC pricing page
GPU-equipped machines Go to BioHPC pricing page
Extra-large memory machines Go to BioHPC pricing page
BioHPC Cloud computing
DescriptionInternal price (Cornell and Cornell affiliates)External price
Membership (annual cost) - "general" machine $540.00 $675.00
Membership (annual cost) - "medium gen1" machine $540.00 $675.00
Allows you to use the machines "General"and "Medium gen1" with some limits.