About the SWITCH SCALE project


May 2014 - May 2015 (extended to July 2015)


The project has built basic cloud infrastructure services for the SWITCH community and for participants of the CUS P-2 projects. Within the strategy of the CUS P-2 program "information scientifique", cloud is a core field of action. Therefore, this project supports the strategy to provide basic infrastructure services and the corresponding use cases of the CUS P-2 program.

SWITCH will provide cloud services out of this project jointly with the institutions’ IT services to their members. SWITCH provides the community with a platform that enables them to benefit from each other’s know-how.

The following services have benn implemented in SCALE:

  • Virtual machines for system administrators in higher education (SWITCHengines):
    System administrators can autonomously provision virtual machines (VM) from scratch or based on templates provided. The VM is accessible via an IP address in the Internet. The service supports different operating systems including Windows and various GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Red Hat.
  • Storage as a service: We provide cost-effective storage for large amounts of data at the Terabyte (TB) scale. There is storage accessible from VMs as volume storage and object storage accessible via Internet through an S3 protocol compatible interface.
  • Interactive scientific software for researchers
    Based on the VM service SWITCHengines, users can use the R-Studio software package for statistical analysis. The software is already installed on a virtual machine ready for use.
  • Institutions and users will be provided with reports on the usage of the service.

In May and June 2015 in total four workshops have been held to present the services and use cases to the community. Two workshops adressed the IT service departments of the universities and two workshops focused on IT support for researchers and lecturers.


Q3/2014: "Self-Service VMs" for pilot users, see SWITCHengines

Q4/2014: "Storage as a Service" for pilot users, see SWITCHengines

Q1/2015: "Academic Software as a Service" (R-Studio appliance on SWITCHengines)

Q2/2015: National services "self-service VMs", "Storage as a Service", "Academic Software" and Training for services


The project is funded by SWITCH and co-funded as a project within the CUS P-2 program.


Representatives in the Cloud Advisory Committee advise SWITCH at the strategic level concerning the development of cloud services. They bring in their requirements to guide the shape of the cloud offerings.

  • University of Bern, Tara Andrews
  • University of St. Gallen, Kai Blanke
  • University of Basel, Michael Brüwer
  • Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Stephan Egli
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), Niklaus Lang
  • Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Pénélope Leyland
  • University of Italian-speaking Switzerland (USI), Fernando Pedone
  • University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Fribourg (HES-SO//FR), Daniel Plaschy
  • University of Geneva, Jean-François Rossignol