Service Level Agreement

Updated June 28, 2021


This Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines the support that CyVerse will provide to users of CyVerse cyberinfrastructure (CI), services, and resources. Service definitions include availability, support levels, or duration and restrictions on support provided by CyVerse based on compliance with the CyVerse Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The objective of this SLA is to clarify the responsibilities and procedures to be undertaken to ensure the needs are met by all parties to the SLA. System Services defines CyVerse's general support services; the additional level of service, e.g., for cloud compute resources, that will be provided to users of specific CyVerse tools, resources, or services are defined in a subsection for that service.

Parties to this SLA. By requesting and accepting a user account with CyVerse, a user becomes party to this SLA, along with CyVerse, also called the Service Provider.

​Commencement Date and Duration of this SLA. This SLA is effective between all Parties on the date the user begins using any of CyVerse's cyberinfrastructure, services, and resources. This SLA, and any subsequent modifications to it, are in effect for the duration that the user maintains an account with CyVerse or until the account is otherwise terminated.


  • "Project" means CyVerse, together with its successors and assigns.

  • "Service Provider" means CyVerse.

  • "User" means any person or entity who requests, registers, and activates a CyVerse user account, including Third-Party Users.

  • "Atmosphere" means CyVerse's public cloud computing services and infrastructure.

  • "VM" means virtual machine services as provided by CyVerse.

  • "Failure" means failure by CyVerse to comply with its responsibilities under this SLA.

  • “Collaborator” means a user who has entered into a formal (Memorandum of Understanding) or informal (Letter of Collaboration or External Collaborative Partnership Agreement) relationship with CyVerse.

System Services

Service Availability

The services provided by the Service Provider, including incident response, are in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year. Incident response will be within 6 hours for urgent issues (see below), or within 1 business day for normal priority issues, service requests, or business inquiry. The following services are provided to the registered users of CyVerse cyberinfrastructure resources:

  • Maintenance: Regularly scheduled maintenance of the site may occur monthly on Tuesdays between 8 AM to 11 PM MST. Most planned outages will occur during this window. Any other planned outages will be scheduled during nights and weekends following at least 24-hours prior notification of Users via email. Unscheduled outages may occur at any time and CyVerse Cloud Native Services staff will strive to communicate such outages to the affected users or designated alternative contacts within 6 hours. "Emergency Maintenance" refers to any corrective action intended to remedy conditions likely to cause severe Service degradation, as determined by CyVerse in its sole discretion. CyVerse will make reasonable efforts to inform users in advance before interrupting service for emergency maintenance but such notice is not guaranteed.

  • Operation Support: Ongoing support includes systems performance tuning, software patches, software installation, systems automation, and server configuration.

  • Monitoring: Monitoring is provided for data services 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. CyVerse staff monitor on a daily basis vital data center and server information.

  • Network Connectivity: CyVerse Systems Administrators complete the installation and set up of the VM with an operating system. This includes the creation and configuration of the VM with the requested services, network address, back-up system software, security administration, monitoring, and account management.

  • Backup Services: CyVerse will back up persistent virtual machines and data stored within iRODS nightly and preserved for one month. Atmosphere EBS volumes and S3 data will be backed up weekly and preserved for one month.

  • Notification: Users will be notified of planned outages affecting services. An email notification will be sent to the contact email address provided by the user at least 24 hours prior to the planned outage.


The following service outages do not constitute Failures under this SLA:

  • Scheduled maintenance or emergency maintenance periods

  • Outages caused by acts or omissions of the user, including user-installed software or server misconfigurations

  • Outages caused by hackers, sabotage, viruses, worms, or other third-party wrongful actions

  • DNS issues outside of CyVerse's control

  • Outages resulting from Internet anomalies outside of CyVerse's control

  • Outages resulting from fire, explosion, or force majeure; outages to the user's portal

Service Constraints

  • All CyVerse account holders should keep their account information current, including email address(es), institution, occupation, preferences, and other settings. An annual update reminder is sent to all account holders, with a 30-day grace period to update, after which access to CyVerse services may be blocked until the account has been updated. See CyVerse Security and Privacy Policy for how we treat your account information.

  • Timely service notifications rely on current and accurate contact information for users. CyVerse is not responsible for untimely outage notifications if a user fails to update or correct their account contact information on file with CyVerse.

  • CyVerse shall not be liable for the failure or delay in performing its obligations under this SLA if such failure or delay is due to external circumstances beyond its reasonable control, including without limitation, acts of any governmental body, war, insurrection, sabotage, embargo, fire, strike or other labor disturbance, interruption of or delay in transportation, unavailability or interruption or delay in telecommunications, failure of third-party software or inability to obtain raw materials, supplies, or power used in or equipment needed for provision of CyVerse's Co-Located Services and Products (each, a Force Majeure Event).

Service Deprecation

CyVerse may deprecate (retire) a service, feature, or capability based on the need to prioritize our investment in services that most benefit our users. CyVerse will take proactive steps to notify affected users in a timely manner. 

  • Advanced notice - users will be notified via multiple means, not limited to email and other media, at least 60 days before the service is deprecated. The notification(s) will provide a timeline for the service to be deprecated, actions users should take if any, and contact information for questions.
  • Viable alternatives - CyVerse will identify functionally comparable, alternative source(s), if any, for the service, whether free or for a fee.
  • Continued support - CyVerse will provide support (e.g., FAQs, documentation, tutorials, videos, contact email, etc.) to assist users in migrating their resources off the service to be deprecated. Additionally, CyVerse will create and explain the process and time limitation for retrieving any data or apps that remain unclaimed on the service at the time it is removed.

Should CyVerse need to accelerate the timeline for deprecation due to circumstances beyond our control, we will strive to notify all affected users as quickly as possible of the change.

Incident Management

The services provided by the Service Provider, including incident response, are in effect 24-hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year. Incident response will be within 6 hours for urgent issues (see below), or within 1 business day for normal priority issues, service requests, or business inquiry. In response to a support ticket, a CyVerse staff member will respond by email to the ticket by Type of Incident (see criteria below).

Response Times for Incidents

Type of Incident Contact Info Response Time


A component, application or critical feature is down, and as a result no work can be performed

CyVerse Support (

If no response in a reasonable timeframe, contact, (520) 621-0011, (520) 261-7761

16 hours


Abnormal or inconsistent system behavior or a system problem that does not prevent work on the system

CyVerse Support (

If no response in a reasonable timeframe, contact, (520) 626-4279, (520) 261-7761

1 business day

Service Request

Routine request for maintenance

CyVerse Support (

If no response in a reasonable timeframe, contact, (520) 626-4279, (520) 261-7761

1 business day


A question regarding a change to the service

CyVerse Support (

If no response in a reasonable timeframe, contact, (520) 626-4279, (520) 261-7761

1 business day


CyVerse cannot guarantee time frames for the following situations:

  • Issues referred to a Third-Party Service Provider

  • Systems in a disaster recovery state

  • Issues that involve troubleshooting issues that do not involve the operating system, applications, or content on the physically co-located VM​​​

Contact Information


Atmosphere Services

Security, Privacy, & Confidentiality

CyVerse is responsible for maintaining current patch levels on the operating system and any applications running to ensure network security as defined by CyVerse IT Security staff. A user will have access only to their assigned VM(s); CyVerse IT staff will have access to users' VMs for the purposes of maintaining security and a functional operating system. Periodic security scans will occur to ensure that all CyVerse Systems maintain a satisfactory security level.

Physical Access

Physical access to CyVerse's physical cyberinfrastructure resources is restricted to authorized CyVerse personnel and their escorted visitors.

​Root Access

CyVerse may grant root access, which is the ability to modify the configuration of a system, to users on virtual machines or to CyVerse's physical systems. All physical systems, VMs on CyVerse's virtualization cluster, and VM images on CyVerse Atmosphere will be configured to permit CyVerse staff access; however, CyVerse staff will not use root access unless permission is explicitly granted.

​Atmosphere Root Access

Atmosphere users will be granted root access for many VM images using the Atmosphere portal; for those VMs that do not allow root access to the user, a notice will be provided. The CyVerse staff will not access any Atmosphere VM if the Opt-Out option is invoked for a given VM, except for situations related to security and the overall operations of CyVerse's infrastructure (see "Opt-Out Option").​

Atmosphere Opt-Out

A user may "Opt-Out" of the standard CyVerse security procedures identified in this SLA during registration or at any time by contacting "Opt-out" means that CyVerse will not intervene in a user's VM; any operations, configurations, tools, data analysis, workflows, etc., created by a user with root access who has opted-out will remain as is in the user's VM. In the event that a user with root access who has opted-out impairs their VM's functionality through the installation of software of any sort, or through the configuration of the VM, then CyVerse shall have NO obligation to provide any incident management with respect to their VM's functionality. The only obligation CyVerse has in such situations is to disable the Opt-Out user's VM(s) should their installations or configurations result in threats to the overall system security and/or the functionality of the operating system for Atmosphere and/or the DE as a whole, as determined solely by CyVerse. In the event that an "opt-out" Atmosphere VM is disabled due to security concerns or a misconfiguration and data recovery on the volatile storage on the Atmosphere VM is deem possible by CyVerse staff, CyVerse staff will provide sufficient access to the user to copy the data elsewhere; no other recovery efforts will be performed to triage or remedy the issue by CyVerse Staff.

​Atmosphere will still be available during the defined service hours, excluding scheduled maintenance downtime or disasters outside of the Service Provider's control.

​All users accessing Atmosphere through Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and/or Platform as a Service (PaaS) will have root access to Atmosphere's underlying operating system to allow customized configurations of their VM. Users of Atmosphere's Software as a Service (SaaS) will not be given root access upon registration but can request it at a later time by emailing Support (

Users, including CyVerse staff, with root access who have not 'opted-out' will be able to access other VMs within the Atmosphere system.

​Users are responsible for the backup and recovery of any data stored on a co-located machine/VM. CyVerse is not responsible for the user's failure to implement a working backup and recovery plan for their allocated VM(s).

Resources for Active Use

CyVerse provides resources to the community for active use. Because infrastructure resources are finite and to ensure maximum community benefit, CyVerse may operationally reclaim idle, unused, or suspended resources.

​Allocation for each cloud provider

Cloud providers within Atmosphere may have different default allocation policies. The following table shows the current default and maximum allocations governing each cloud. By default, when your time allocation is exhausted, the instance is suspended. Please note that time allocations are reset at the beginning of each month. Any instances that were suspended for lack of allocation resource will need to be restarted at the beginning of the month. To change your provider, see Selecting Your Cloud Provider on the CyVerse wiki.

A​llocation Policies

  • CyVerse Marana Cloud – General purpose default provider. Allocation increases are based on availability, fair share, and a user's request history.

    • Provided by: CyVerse

    • Default allocation: 336 AUs

    • Maximum allocation: 5000 AUs for US researchers and 2034 AUs for International (equals 6 days max for 16 cores OR 12 days max for 8 cores OR 24 days max for 4 cores).

    • Contact: CyVerse Support

Volume Quota

The default quota for Atmosphere volumes is 10 gigabytes (GB) in total. Requests may be made based on scientific need up to 1 terabyte (TB). Requests for greater than 1 TB may be granted to users who demonstrate exceptional scientific need; such requests will be reviewed by CyVerse's scientific team or executive team. Users are encouraged to rely on the CyVerse Data Store to move data into and out of Atmosphere for active computation.

Stopped, Suspended, Shelved and Idle Instances, and Inactive Volumes

The following resources are formally reclaimed on a defined schedule:

  • Idle instances: An Atmosphere instance that has not performed significant computations measured by load average or has not had interactive sessions (via SSH or VNC) for more than three (3) days may be suspended, preserving the state of the instance. Users can resume a suspended instance at a later time, depending on available resources.

  • Stopped and Suspended instances: Users may suspend their instance(s) for no more than four (4) continuous weeks (28 continuous days).

  • Shelved instances: ​Users may shelve their instance(s) for no more than six (6) continuous months.

  • Inactive volumes: Volumes provide a persistent storage within the cloud that can be attached to active instances. Atmosphere volumes that have not been used for more than three (3) months will be considered inactive, after which the data will be copied to the users' Data Store home directory (under /cyverse/home/username/atmo/volume-name) and the volume will be deleted. Users can request a new volume and copy their data back to the new volume. CyVerse Support staff will be available to assist with restoring data to the new volume, if necessary.

One week (7 days) before the applicable time limit, the user will receive a single email notification of the impending termination of their instance(s) due to the time limit.

To continue using the suspended instance, the user must either resume or image the instance within 3 days, or contact CyVerse Support for assistance. (If using the current UI, you can set the visibility of the image to Private to preserve an instance for longer than 4 weeks.)

When the time limit has been reached, CyVerse will administratively terminate the suspended instance(s) to release resources for other users. Volumes attached to a terminated instance will retain their data; however, please note that data stored directly on a terminated instance is irretrievable.

Although volumes attached to a deleted instance will retain their data, some data stored directly on a terminated instance is irretrievable. For more information, see Suspending, Stopping, Resuming, Starting, and Deleting Instances.

Additional policies

  • Users may request additional allocation on our website, or contact the provider listed in the table above.

  • Allocation committees may review a user's previous utilization to evaluate fair share and efficient use of resources.

  • If total AUs for a given cloud or for the current month are exhausted, allocation increases may be assigned to the following month.

​​​For more information, contact Support.


CyVerse's cyberinfrastructure resources are free, publicly-available, open-source computing resources and services; therefore, CyVerse will not compensate for failure or a user's loss of service, data, results, images, etc. that may occur during any scheduled or unscheduled outage of its servers and services.