Dynamic compute and storage services for research and education

Welcome to SWITCHengines!

SWITCHengines provides compute and storage services in the form of virtual machines to researchers, lecturers and IT-services of Swiss universities and related institutions.

Custom-tailored for academic use cases

SWITCHengines was created to expand the boundaries of local infrastructures for research, education and IT-services under maximal considerations of your needs. Check out the following three flavors.  

Research  Education  Enterprise

Great flexibility and advanced scalability

The flexible SWITCHengines academic community cloud allows you to use the computing and storage infrastructure

  • according to your needs
  • when you need them and
  • as long as you need them.

SWITCH provides both pay-as-you go for dynamic workload as well as longer-term usage models – with varying levels of discounts according to the volume and duration. For an overview of the available storage and compute resources click here.

Simple application and full integration

SWITCHengines are built in a way that fully integrates into the local infrastructures of your institution. Institutions can choose various levels of integration – according to their current and future needs. This includes:

  • direct integration into the SWITCHlan network
  • console for the integrated management of projects and users
  • transparent resource usage and cost monitoring

SWITCHengines is created together with Swiss universities and related institutions (such as spin-offs, research institutions or hospitals) to create the best “integrated solution” for your needs.

Since 2018 SWITCHengines also runs Microsoft Windows. Download Factsheet.

We welcome you on SWITCHengines. Start your journey here


Choose your model

There are two billing models to choose from:

  • Either resources are billed “as you go”  

  • or we provide multi year volume discounts for longer-term usage, such as for scientific projects or IT-services

For participating institutions, we combine the two models to provide discounts also if an institution uses a certain amount of resources cumulatively.

Pricing information for Swiss Academia

SWITCHengines Pricing Flyer 2018 (Current as of 24.05.2018)

Currently we are invoicing the following items: CPU, RAM, IPv4 Addresses and Storage, Microsoft software licenses.

Basic infrastructure for funded projects

Projects funded by swissuniversities' program "P-5 Scientific information" can use the compute and storage services created by this project free of charge. Projects can be accommodated within the limits of available capacity until August 2018 (subject to agreement with SWITCH).

Data lifecycle management (DLCM)

Currently the University of Geneva, which is responsible for the national long-term preservation infrastructure, is working on the architecture and its proof of concept (POC) of an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) compliant system. For that, there is a need to benefit from cloud services such as proposed by SWITCHengines. The POC of that system is realized on SWITCHengines.

For more information about the DLCM project, see: http://www.dlcm.ch

e-Science Coordination Team Project, University of Zurich (formerly eSCT, now EnhanceR)

University of Zurich, a partner in the e-Science Coordination Team (formerly eSCT, now EnhanceR) project has been using SWITCHengines for several data analysis tasks in a Cloud bursting setup:

  • Biochemistry: Docking Ligands to Proteins with rDock
  • Business: Process social network data through Natural Language Processing tools
  • Geography: Process GPS data in an RData file

The SWITCHengines service helped the Science IT team of the University of Zurich to satisfy peak requests for computing resources.

For more information about the EnhanceR project, see https://www.enhancer.ch/

National e-Infrastructure link for Switzerland (NeI-CH)

The NeI-CH project has started to run physics related computations on the cloud infrastructure. The simulations are tested for their fitness to the cloud infrastructure also with regard to particularities and new possibilities compared to the traditional HPC environments.

For more information about the DLCM project, see: http://lhep.unibe.ch/neich/

-> Subproject TmLQCD (Twisted Mass Lattice QCD)

TmLQCD is a Hybrid Monte Carlo implementation for Wilson and Wilson twisted mass fermions and inverter for different versions of the Dirac operators, is fully parallelised and tested successfully on various modern architectures.The goal of this exercise is to make some exploratory studies on the features of particles on low-energy regions.

-> Subproject GEANT

Geant4 (Geometry and Tracking) is a platform for simulation of passage of particles through matter. It is a standard tool for design and simulation of particle physics detectors, also used in medical and space physics applications. The outcome of this exercise will be a master thesis on muon background simulation for a neutrino experiment. The general Geant4 image created, can in the future be used in other applications.

-> Subproject ATLAS Simulation

The ATLAS Simulation is also based on Geant4. The detector geometry is described and the interactions of the particles with the different layers of the detector is simulated. This is included in the general ATLAS software framework (Athena). The outcome of the exercise is to produce real simulated events as part of the general ATLAS Monte Carlo simulation campaign. This requires the transparent integration of the ATLAS framework with the cloud infrastructure.

Upcoming Event
IT for Research Day 2018, Berne

Please find the details and registration form here.

Past Events 
Research IT day June 2017, Lausanne

Please find the details on the details page.

Event for Big Data & Faster Research April 2017

Please find the details on the details page.

Event for IT services and Researchers October 2016

Please find the details on the details page.

Events for IT services in May 2015

For more information see this page.

Events for Researchers and Lecturers in June 2015

For more information see this page.

  • Konrad Jaggi
    Outreach Manager
    +41 44 268 15 17 konrad.jaggi@switch.ch

Wednesday 19 September 2018 
10:00 - 17:00h
@University of Bern, Kuppelraum

Start your SWITCHengines

For SWITCHengines end user

Admin UI

For SWITCHengines coordinators at the institutions


Find more (technical) information at our Documentation and FAQ and the technical Blog.