NTU – Tech Innovation

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is the second-largest university in Singapore with a population of 33,500 students and 10,000 faculty and staff.  

With education going digital, NTU needed to ensure their IT infrastructure is able to scale up when needed (such as during admission or course selection season), and increase the school’s effectiveness of reaching out to students. The university also wanted to provide students with a better hybrid learning experience and anywhere access to resources (such as books, lectures, and notes) online. This would significantly decrease the use of papers, printers, and toners, thereby reducing impact on the environment.  However, NTU faced IT challenges such as the constant need to upgrade both hardware and software, along with rising costs of maintaining them. 

Cloud Comrade helped NTU modernize its IT system to overcome these challenges by migrating to AWS cloud in 16 weeks, establishing an environment that is scalable through the use of a heterogeneous set of worker nodes from AWS. AWS services helped to drastically increase the speed and responsiveness of the university’s network. 

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) was used for compute capacity management, enabling NTU to deploy and develop applications without hardware constraints, and scale to meet sudden spikes in workloads. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) was used to retrieve and store data. Cloud Comrade also helped NTU create a private network within AWS to provide isolation and security by Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

Cloud Comrade also helped NTU with the installation, operations and software maintenance of their Hybrid Cloud Science Data System (HySDS) on AWS cloud with  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The HySDS is a hybrid cloud system that aims to provide powerful computing resources to the scientific research community. It processes satellite and radar data for use in natural disaster response, climate monitoring and prediction, as well as many other large scale projects that need real time environmental data. This way, if one needs to process several petabytes of data, they can do so in several hours without having to utilize an on-site data center. 

Cloud Comrade modernized the HySDS cluster’s infrastructure, so that it can spontaneously adjust to any alteration in user demand – powering the ingestion, metadata extraction, cataloging, high-volume data processing, and publication of data products. The guidance and frequent reviews done by Cloud Comrade helped NTU to reduce the cost and duration for this project.


With its deep expertise in enabling cloud innovation, Cloud Comrade helped NTU to digitally transform with the cost-effective, scalable, secure, and flexible AWS Cloud infrastructure. This enabled NTU staff and students to have instant access to adaptable IT resources to support teaching and learning, helped to connect the campus community. NTU is now able to make data-driven decisions to save money and resources, while accelerating research efforts.

With its deep expertise in cloud modernisation, Cloud Comrade helped NASA JPL transform HySDS’ hybrid cloud infrastructure on AWS. This allowed the cluster to run heavy workloads such as satellite data more effectively. HySDS takes satellite data from NASA synthetic-aperture radars to be used for disaster response assessments on the regional level. For example, in the event of an earthquake, NASA’s Advanced Rapid Image and Analysis (ARIA) team could use HySDS to generate the before and after images of the affected area to assess damage. These insights promote disaster prediction, preparation, response, and recovery. They can help response teams to assess how much of the area’s infrastructure has been destroyed and plan their resources adequately. While there are plenty of Science Data Systems that can do similar jobs, HySDS provides a convenient, economical, and open source solution.

Cloud Comrade also implemented a Cloud Disaster Recovery (Cloud DR) strategy as a backup and restore strategy that involves storing and maintaining copies of electronic nodes through a cloud computing environment. With this implementation, NTU will never be hit unprepared when disaster strikes. This was possible only with an enterprise-focused platform like AWS and Cloud Comrade’s cloud security proficiency that can ensure that NTU’s critical data can be highly accessible and secure. This way, Cloud Comrade empowers NTU to be able to focus on strategic initiatives, such as leveraging AWS services to personalize education for the individual learners, and not just managing their data.