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06 Dec, 2022

CyVerse's CACAO platform announces several important updates that will enhance users' ability to do research in the cloud.


CACAO, which stands for Cloud Automation and Continuous Analysis Orchestration, is a web platform that reduces the complexity of doing research and education in any cloud. This exciting new platform enables users to effortlessly manage, scale, and share their tools and workflows to any research-capable cloud using "recipes" - a set of instructions that describe cloud resources and how to configure them. Recipes that are currently supported are those written in Terraform with Ansible, but CACAO will soon support Kubernetes and Nextflow recipes natively as well. Any user can create a recipe or import one from a Git repo, and CyVerse already provides a few commonly requested recipes, including:

  • Launching virtual machines for personal use or for a class or workshop;
  • Launching a development Kubernetes cluster;
  • Launching a JupyterHub for a class or workshop with integration with GitHub authentication.

Users can also scale-up their cloud resources with the click of a button. CACAO already supports OpenStack-based research clouds such as NSF Jetstream2, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) integration will be available in early 2023. Other clouds, including Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure, are expected to be added after AWS. Along with commercial cloud integration with CACAO, users will have the ability to intuitively manage their costs by setting cloud budgets per team or workflow.

Edwin Skidmore
Edwin Skidmore

CACAO developer and Director of Infrastructure at CyVerse, Edwin Skidmore said, "We've been hearing from our users that doing research in the cloud is still very challenging while their costs in using the cloud are increasing. CACAO was created to lower the technical barrier in moving between clouds while helping users reduce their cloud cost."


Other upcoming features to expect in 2023 include:

  • AWS support, including the ability to create budgets and enable cost controls for cloud usage;
  • A template catalog for sharing and importing your own templates;
  • The ability to create time-limited cloud resources;
  • Additional features to support workshops or share cloud resources that users create in AWS or other research clouds.

CACAO is currently in alpha release and is hosted on Jetstream2, which is a collaborative partner with CyVerse. A webinar with more information on the features of CACAO is available here: https://cyverse.org/webinar-cacao. You can also visit our website for additional information or contact us at support@cyverse.org to schedule a demo. We look forward to having users evaluate CACAO and provide feedback.