Edinburgh International Data Facility

What we offer

Part laboratory, part repository, the Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF) provides computational and storage services to support data-driven innovation for the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland region and beyond.

Data science services: the laboratory

The EIDF Data Service Cloud is designed to support data scientists, and data scientists are not (exclusively) programmers. The Data Service Cloud has to support a wide set of users, from the casual data browser to the hard-core machine-learning researcher. It also has to be flexible: tools for data science can and will change all the time.

The Data Service Cloud provides a self-service catalogue for users to select their base virtual machine(s) and customise them with standard data science and engineering tools. It supports:

  • Browser-based access. From Jupyter-notebook-style dynamic webpages to full virtual desktop interfaces – a computer desktop running inside your web browser
  • Command-line access: Traditional secure-shell login access for those comfortable with the Linux command line
  • API access: Direct programmatic access to openly accessible data
  • GPU hardware: Specialised processors for machine learning workloads.data hosting and preservation services

Data hosting and preservation services: the repository

EIDF works with partners from the DDI Programme and beyond to store, preserve and make available digital data assets of all kinds. To guard against data loss, EIDF follows the 3-2-1 principle, with a layered approach to its data architecture and a redundancy-by-replication approach to data durability. EIDF maintains multiple copies of data objects as follows.

  • Data Lake: two copies, one primary, one secondary
  • Onsite backup: one copy
  • Offsite backup: at least one copy (see below).

Safe Haven services

EIDF provides Safe Haven services to health and government users, following best practice in independent governance and supporting the linkage of complex personal data for public benefit research and policy-making under national and regional safeguards. Safe haven services can also be created for organisations wishing to host and govern access to their data assets in a highly secure environment. Our Governance and Security section gives more information.

Service catalogue and roadmap

Standard services


Data Science Cloud


Pre-configured analytics VMs

Q3 2021

High-performance Spark cluster

Q4 2021

High-performance R Studio cluster

Q4 2021

High-performance Jupyter cluster

Q4 2021

OpenStack IaaS


Safe Haven Services


Safe Haven cloud environment

Q4 2021

Protected data access cloud environment

Q4 2021

Data Access & Discovery


Data catalogue

Q2 2021

Analytics-ready datasets

Q2 2021

Data Hosting


Long-term data hosting


High-Performance Computing


Ultra2 large memory service

Q2 2021

Cerebras CS-1 service

Q2 2021

Archer2 UK Tier 1 service


Cirrus Tier 2 service


Bespoke Development & Project Services


Data science development


Applications development


Systems development



Co-designed services

In production

National Safe Haven

Trusted research environment for approved public benefit research, operated on behalf of Public Health Scotland.


Administrative Data Research Centre

Secure data hosting, linkage and analysis environment operated on behalf of the Scottish Government.


Scottish Covid-19 Research Database

Secure data hosting, linkage and analysis environment supporting covid-19 research across Scotland and the UK.  

ISARIC4C research service

Secure data hosting, linkage and HPC environment supporting covid-19 genetic research by the ISARIC4C consortium.


Scottish Genome Partnership research service

Data hosting and HPC re-processing environment.



Early-adopter interim service programme 2021

In pre-production: co-designed services in operation, supported by projects

Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence

Secure data hosting and analysis environment.


ScotGov SPACe

Analytics workbench and confidential data workbench environments; public data hosting service.

iCAIRD research service

Secure data hosting and dissemination service for digital pathology research data.


Data SlipStream

Satellite and EO data ingest, processing, hosting and dissemination services.


In development

Active projects for future services

IoT data service

Data ingest and hosting services for the DDI Programme Internet of Things data network.


National Collection of Aerial Photography

Data ingest and processing, data hosting and data dissemination services for Historic Environment Scotland.


The DataLoch

Secure data hosting and analysis environments for SE Scotland health and social care data.



In planning

Future services

Research Data Scotland

Scottish public sector research data catalogue; open and secure data hosting services.



Scottish Ophthalmology Network data hosting and analysis services.



Secure data hosting and analysis environment for the Human Dignity Data Institute.

CMVM Data Consolidation

Data hosting and discoverability across the University’s College of Medicine and Vet Medicine.




3-2-1 principle