Edinburgh International Data Facility

About the Edinburgh International Data Facility

What it is and how it works

Who is in charge of the Edinburgh International Data Facility?

The Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF) is built and operated by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, and governed by the Data Driven Innovation Programme (DDI) of the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal.  It is funded by the UK and Scottish Governments under the DDI. The secure building, initial computational hardware and storage are paid for from the core capital investment of the  DDI.

The ongoing operating costs (mostly staff and electricity) are paid for by the University of Edinburgh. To secure the EIDF's future, an element of cost recovery is also built into our business models. EIDF is free at the point of use for University of Edinburgh academics, for instance, and support costs come from the standard “lab tech” overhead.

Where is it?

EIDF is located at EPCC's Advanced Computing Facility on the edge of the city, in a purpose-built, high-resilience computer room  called CR4.  

How big is EIDF?

EIDF needs to be flexible so we’ve taken a building block approach – a storage brick here, a big-memory server brick there. The Phase 1 system started with around a dozen storage bricks and a half-dozen compute bricks – that’s about 150 beefy cloud compute nodes, some 20 GPGPU AI accelerators and around 10 PB of storage (an EIDF brick is about the size of a fridge). It will grow over time, driven by the needs of our students, researchers and innovators.

How will it evolve?

Apart from getting bigger, the most noticeable change will be in the richness and variety of the datasets that will be available. Our goal is to collect and curate a large number of interesting datasets and make them “analytics ready”. Some of these datasets might be small; we hope that many will be truly large, demanding the petabyte scales of the underlying hardware. We’ll be working on making them as useful as possible – easily findable, accessible, linkable and interoperable.


CR4 high-resilience computer room

Data Driven Innovation Programme

DDI Innovation Hubs

Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal


Phase 1 of the EIDF system