Research IT maintains a secure private cloud within a UW campus datacenter that is purpose built for doing analysis on sensitive datasets containing Personal Health Information (PHI).  When hosting and/or collecting PHI for research purposes security is of paramount importance, and so Research IT acts as the proactive security team for each researcher we work with to minimize the possibility of data leakage. We offer cloud hosting services to both students and faculty operating in a PHI context with a valid IRB. Depending on researcher needs our cloud can easily accommodate changing needs for SSD storage, multiple Terabyte storage loads, high CPU counts, and large RAM allocations.


The Research IT Infrastructure team, who maintains the private cloud, has a mission statement simply put as: “To securely host health related big data and facilitate innovative research on that data.”  In practice the primary uses of our cloud are:

  • Securely hosting very large databases containing PHI providing only the most limited and necessary access possible to the data
  • Securely hosting a flexible analysis platform for hosted health information via a CentOS Linux server or a Windows 2016 Remote Desktop by utilizing virtual machines. 
  • Securely hosting web applications that facilitate research with the wider community
  • Hosting simple websites that facilitate research with the wider community
  • Facilitate the research use of AWS for UW discount on services and zero-cost bandwidth








When building a cloud environment Research IT uses the following technologies and tools:

  • Supported Operating Systems:   Windows Server 2016, CentOS 7
  • Supported Database Technologies:   SQL Server, postgres, mariadb (mysql)
  • Supported Applications:   apache/tomcat, R, python, WordPress, REDCap, AWS


Computing resources in the cloud are allocated in “slices” of 2 CPU + 4GB of RAM at $XX per month.


Faculty can make use of the Research IT cloud with a valid IRB and a UW Budget number to charge for the services.


With a valid IRB, the Student Technology Fee supports student driven research on STF-owned servers that Research IT maintains.


To further inquire about the use of the Research IT secure cloud, please fill out the form below with details about intended purpose.



Student?  [checkbox]        If so, who is faculty advisor?

IRB already approved?

Please describe your overall research effort and identify your cloud computing needs.