CloudBank initiative gives researchers access to quantum computing resources

November 18, 2022 — CloudBank – a cloud access entity that helps the IT community access and use public clouds for research and education through managed services – is designed to simplify access to emerging computing resources such as than quantum computing.

“Accessing quantum computing resources can be difficult,” said Shawn Strande, deputy director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. “Fortunately, public cloud providers are at the forefront of making these resources available to the community, and CloudBank, with well-developed public cloud integration processes and tools, makes it easy to access and use of these resources.

Earlier this year, in a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation announced its extension of the CloudBank program to any active recipient funded by the Directorate of Computing and Engineering (CISE). It also streamlined the process for cloud requests.

A subsequent DCL letter focusing on the accessibility of quantum computing resources was distributed in June, and although this specific opportunity is closed, researchers can still apply for quantum resources as active CISE fellows. This type of request is just-in-time instead of requiring IPs to budget resources at the time of proposal submission in hopes of maximizing cloud elasticity and providing users with compute cycles when they need it. need.

“Quantum computing represents a new paradigm in computing that uses the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform calculations. For some problems, quantum computers promise to provide computing power that traditional computers won’t be able to match,” said Almadena Shchelkanova, NSF’s quantum program manager. “In physical science, computer science, and engineering — fields that underpin the quantum technologies needed to build a computer quantum science – the US National Science Foundation is the largest government sponsor of basic research at colleges and universities in the United States.”

To enable the support of quantum research, CloudBank uses several platforms: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. Examples of CloudBank research projects include Colorado State University’s study of high velocity turbulent flows. Led by Stephen Guzik and Xinfeng Gao, the researchers investigate the possibility of using quantum algorithms to approximate the small-scale dynamics of turbulent flows, which is extraordinarily difficult and expensive with classical processors.

“CloudBank facilitates access to emerging quantum processing technologies. For complex computations, quantum algorithms must be run in a larger traditional high-performance computing environment, both from a software and hardware perspective,” Gao said. “Cloudbank provides flexible access to these technologies even as they evolve rapidly in this nascent phase of quantum computing.”

According to Shava Smallen, Computing and Data Research Specialist at SDSC and co-PI of the NSF CloudBank Project, CloudBank lowers barriers to entry and reduces friction for academic work in the cloud, supporting a range of users who are turning to the cloud for their computing work – from researchers and educators at small private colleges and large public institutions, to pioneering cloud newbies and experts.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in the number of researchers using CloudBank to access public cloud resources thanks to the new funding model provided by Dear Colleague Letters,” Smallen said. “It has been exciting to onboard these new quantum researchers as they learn to use these unique resources and we thank our partners at AWS, Azure and IBM for their great support.

CloudBank was co-developed by SDSC at UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, and the University of Washington with industry collaborator Strategic Blue, which helps researchers in the United States economically adopt their choice of cloud with fewer hassles supply.

About SDSC

The San Diego Supercomputer Center is a leader and pioneer in high-performance, data-intensive computing, providing cyberinfrastructure resources, services, and expertise to the national research community, universities, and the industry. Located on the UC San Diego campus, SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of fields, from astrophysics and earth sciences to disease research and drug discovery.

About the University of Washington eScience Institute

Established in 2008, the University of Washington’s eScience Institute was one of the first campus units nationally and internationally focused on advancing data-intensive scientific discovery through the close coupling of research and education on methodology and applications.

About the UC Berkeley Division of Computing, Data Science and Society

Berkeley’s Computing, Data Science and Society Division connects computing, statistics, ethics, humanities, and social and natural sciences to accelerate cutting-edge education and research across scientific and technological frontiers . Berkeley’s data science education program was the first to use the cloud at scale, providing thousands of students with easy access to computing resources and serving as a model for universities around the world.

About Strategic Blue

Strategic Blue offers bespoke cloud financial management services as a reseller of Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Platform and other leading cloud providers, and helps organizations better understand and control their cloud costs to enable the best use of their budgets. For more information, visit

Source: SDSC

Sherry J. Basler