This decision removes one of several bizarre disincentives to the rational selection of research computing and storage options – disincentives that plague universities nationwide.
Federal guidelines waive indirect cost on purchased equipment – so purchasing a $100K cluster costs a grant budget $100K, despite the fact that this equipment must be housed, powered, cooled, backed up, replaced …
Meanwhile, indirect cost is charged on outsourced cloud services – so purchasing $100K of AWS or Azure services costs $157K, despite the fact that the only actual overhead is paying an invoice.
UW IT and the UW Office of Research have now decided to unilaterally waive this nonsensical charge.
Read more here.