Geo data – support for researchers

Computing Resources in the Faculty

Basic Computing 

Every researcher is equipped with a standard laptop with a good processor, at least 16gb RAM, and an SSD. While this is helpful for basic tasks, it may lack the power needed to do serious computing for our researchers. UU provides the Software Center to install new software, but if the software you need is not listed there, you can request admin rights to install software on your machine.  

You may also need Linux for some purposes, a good first option is to enable Windows Subsystems for Linux on your laptop. While not a full Linux experience, it can be a good starting point for these needs.  

Solis Workspace 

As a first stop to supplement your computing needs, there is Solis Workspace, a virtualized desktop environment accessible from your browser, the data stewards at the time of writing found the computer is equipped with 8 processors and ~40GB RAM, but this is subject to change. All software available from the software center is available in this environment and configured with our licenses. You can access Solis Workspace at the following link: UU Solis Workspace 

High Performance Computers (HPC) 

High-Performance Computing (HPC) involves harnessing computer power/performance beyond standard desktops or workstations to solve problems of high complexity. Researchers can benefit from diverse platforms such as supercomputers/computer clusters and cloud-based services. Each one of them differs in user accessibility, computational power, software availability, and security measures. These kinds of resources are accessible through institutional services/systems, national facilities (e.g. SURF) or commercial providers (e.g. Rescale, Amazon, Google, IBM, etc.). 

Internal HPC services 


Eejit is an HPC from the Earth Sciences (AW) and Physical Geography (FG) departments, and available to all researchers in the Geosciences faculty, with priority given to computations. This is a cluster of several machines running Linux, and computation is scheduled using Slurm. You can contact Theo van Zessen for access to Eejit.  


This is a single machine for researchers in the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development to run computations on Windows virtual machines. The machine has two Nvidia graphics cards that can be used for AI/ML purposes, or for GPU computing. Sustainable Development department researchers can request access through Matteo Gazzani 


Velocity is the computential facility operating on Linux for the department of Physical Geography. It is the successor of several ‘older’ computential servers Speedy, Fleet, Hyper and Sonic which will be (partly) phased out in the coming year. Velocity has a limited capacity of storage space on the facility itself, so after performing the computations, simulations, modelling or other processing activities, all used data have to be transferred to other storage solutions. For Velocity you can get an account based on your personal SSH key, so you are able to perform tasks on this facility. You can contact Oliver Schmitz for an account. 

External HPC solutions 

SURF HPC/HTC services 

SURF (Samenwerkende Universitaire RekenFaciliteiten) is the ICT collective of Dutch higher education institutions, provides various computing facilities and services to researchers in the Netherlands, particularly in the field of higher education and research. SURF provides several computing services to researchers which are designed to serve different computational needs: 

The main computing resources from SURF are Snellius and Research Cloud. Snellius is the national supercomputer for large tasks, and Research Cloud is a service for running smaller jobs in a local or commercial cloud environment. There are credits available for UU researchers to use SURF computing services that cover the costs of the CPU-Time partly or fully. To get more information, and tailored advice, about SURF HPC/HTC services and how to get access to them, you can contact the Research Engineering Team 

Technical Expertise Network

The Geo Data Team has created a TeamSite to discuss computing called the Technical Expertise Network (TEN).

Learn more about the TEN Join the TEN