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    Return on Investment for three Cyberinfrastructure facilities: a local campus supercomputer; the NSF-funded Jetstream cloud system; and XSEDE (the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment)
    (2018) Stewart, Craig A.; Hancock, David Y.; Julie, Wernert; Link, Matthew R.; Wilkins-Diehr, Nancy; Miller, Therese; Gaither, Kelly; Snapp-Childs, Winona
    The economics of high performance computing are rapidly changing. Commercial cloud offerings, private research clouds, and pressure on the budgets of institutions of higher education and federally-funded research organizations are all contributing factors. As such, it has become a necessity that all expenses and investments be analyzed and considered carefully. In this paper we will analyze the return on investment (ROI) for three different kinds of cyberinfrastructure resources: the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE); the NSF-funded Jetstream cloud system; and the Indiana University (IU) Big Red II supercomputer, funded exclusively by IU for use of the IU community and collaborators. We determined the ROI for these three resources by assigning financial values to services by either comparison with commercially available services, or by surveys of value of these resources to their users. In all three cases, the ROI for these very different types of cyberinfrastructure resources was well greater than 1 – meaning that investors are getting more than 1 dollar in returned value for every 1 dollar invested. While there are many ways to measure the value and impact of investment in cyberinfrastructure resources, we are able to quantify the short-term ROI and show that it is a net positive for campuses and the federal government respectively.