Jetstream is a new type of computational research resource for the national (non-pclassified) research community - a data analysis and computational resource that scientists and engineers use interactively to conduct their research anytime, anywhere. Jetstream complements current NSF-funded computational resources and brings a cloud-based system to the NSF computational resources incorporating the best elements of commercial cloud computing resources with some of the best software in existence for solving important scientific problems.

In terms of technical details, Jetstream is a configurable large-scale computing resource that leverages both on-demand and persistent virtual machine technology to support a much wider array of software environments and services than current NSF resources can accommodate. As a fully configurable "cloud" resource, Jetstream bridges the obvious major gap in the current ecosystem, which has machines targeted at large-scale high performance computing, high memory, large data, high-throughput, and visualization resources. As the open cloud for science, Jetstream:

  • Provides "self-serve" academic cloud services, enabling researchers or students to select a VM image from a published library, or alternatively to create or customize their own virtual environment for discipline- or task-specific personalized research computing.
  • Hosts persistent VMs to provide services beyond the command line interface for science gateways and other science services. For example, Jetstream will become a primary host of the popular Galaxy scientific workbench and its main datasets, bringing many Galaxy users to the NSF ecosystem from day one.
  • Enables new modes of sharing computations, data, and reproducibility.
  • Expands access to the NSF XSEDE ecosystem by making virtual desktop services accessible from institutions with limited resources


John Fonner, PhD
Director, Special Projects


John Towns, Timothy Cockerill, Maytal Dahan, Ian Foster, Kelly Gaither, Andrew Grimshaw, Victor Hazlewood, Scott Lathrop, Dave Lifka, Gregory D. Peterson, Ralph Roskies, J. Ray Scott, Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, "XSEDE: Accelerating Scientific Discovery", Computing in Science & Engineering, vol.16, no. 5, pp. 62-74, Sept.-Oct. 2014, DOI: 10.1109/MCSE.2014.80

Stewart, C.A., Cockerill, T.M., Foster, I., Hancock, D., Merchant, N., Skidmore, E., Stanzione, D., Taylor, J., Tuecke, S., Turner, G., Vaughn, M., and Gaffney, N.I., Jetstream: a self-provisioned, scalable science and engineering cloud environment. 2015, In Proceedings of the 2015 XSEDE Conference: Scientific Advancements Enabled by Enhanced Cyberinfrastructure. St. Louis, Missouri. ACM: 2792774. p. 1-8. DOI: 10.1145/2792745.2792774