Atmosphere, the end of a cloud platform with a silver lining

CyVerse has discontinued the Atmosphere service, partly due the changing landscape for performing scientific analysis in the cloud.

What does this mean for a previous user of Atmosphere?

CyVerse discontinued Atmosphere as a service for general analysis use cases on September 1, 2020. CyVerse completely decommissioned Atmosphere for all users in 2022.

What can I use instead of Atmosphere?

With widespread adoption software containers (Docker, Singularity, etc.) for distributing applications (Biocontainers etc.), CyVerse Discovery Environment is a web-based container orchestration platform and workbench for managing data, performing analyses, and visualizing results. See “Run Analyses with the Discovery Environment”. CyVerse also provides extensive training and documentation for customizing and scaling container-based analysis. Most users will be able to migrate their virtual machine-based analysis to containers.

Additionally, users can run interactive analyses through CyVerse’s Visual and Interactive Computing Environment (VICE) in the Discovery Environment. You will need to request access to VICE if you do not already have it. VICE lets users interact with their data and perform analyses in their favorite programming language in one place in an interactive manner (Rstudio, Jupyter, VSCode, etc.). VICE also provides a cloud shell for users who may need a simple way to execute command-line tools, there is also a Linux desktop-based VICE app.

The successor to Atmosphere is a new service being developed by CyVerse called CACAO (Cloud Automation and Continuous Analysis Orchestration), which was created to address the evolving needs for researchers to perform their analyses across different cloud providers, both commercial (AWS, GCP, Azure, etc.) and institutional (University or NSF ACCESS), for reasons such as data-proximal computing (given data sets are available only on a specific cloud provider) or cost reasons (access provided during grant/funding duration) or simply because the cloud access is provided through their institutional affiliations (i.e., University AWS contracts) or funding agency (NIH STRIDESNSF Cloundbank). In addition, managing costs when using cloud as a research team is challenging, CACAO attempts to address some of these shortcomings by utilizing Infrastructure as Code (IaC) capabilities. Currently in beta and available on NSF ACCESS-CI Jetstream2, CyVerse CACAO provides users the ability to create and share software stacks onto any cloud provider using recipes, which may be created by anyone. Example software stacks include multi-user Jupyterhub, Kubernetes, and virtual machines for workshops. Users will be able to deploy software stacks onto AWS in 2023. For more information about Jetstream 2, visit their website. We welcome collaboration opportunities around use of CACAO and cloud automation for your organization and projects.

Additional questions about Atmosphere or CACAO can be directed to

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