Tuesday 28 March, 2017

Table of contents:

CSBS Computing Computational Infrastructure

The College of Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Utah operates a consolidated computing environment in support of research and educational activities on campus and with collaborators at external institutions. All CSBS networks are interconnected via private fiber links with multi-gigabyte capacities. Most workstations in CSBS' network uplink at 1GB speeds for access to internal storage and computational servers. Storage is provided by a Hitachi SAN with a 28TB raw capacity and servers with direct connections to support research and collaboration. All storage is backed up nightly. Clones of the tape media are duplicated to verify functionality and then sent off site for disaster recovery. Information about storage leasing and backup can be found here.

Unix Environment:

Unix-based services are provided by Pip, a Sun Sparc server running Solaris 8 (SunOS 5.8). Pip provides access to home storage (N: drive) to both internal and external clients. Home storage is backed up as per CSBS Computing's backup policy. Internal access is made available via Microsoft's SMB protocol; external access is available via SSH/SFTP. Pip also provides access to Unix-based applications both on the command line and via X.

We are currently in the process of migrating Unix services to a pair of Sun Sparc servers, Plata and Plomo, running Solaris 10. With 16 processor cores and 64 GB of Ram each, these servers will offer a significant performance upgrade to an already reliable service. Additionally, Solaris 10 offers a variety of improvements over Solaris 8. The ZFS file system and Solaris Containers/Zones enable easy development of isolated environments for dedicated computation cycles and protection of sensitive data.

Windows Environment:

Collaboration within a windows environment is primarily provided by Jafo, a windows terminal server, with 4 2.4GHz Quad Core processors. Jafo runs a Windows 2003 64bit operating system to allow for addressing of up to 32GB of RAM. Jafo has 600 GB of local scratch storage and direct access to the CSBS SAN (Storage Area Network) for access to leased storage. Jafo is configured to allow both internal and external collaborators to share data and collaborate in a secure environment protected by multiple layers of security and SSL encryption for external users. This server is part of an effort to reduce the overhead of interdisciplinary research between collaborators both across campus and around the world. Jafo has been in service nearly one year and has proven to be an effective solution.

Database and Application Environment:

Dedicated database and application environments are available for long term research projects as requested. These services are genereally developed as VMware virtual machines and can be deployed and Windows XP, Server 2003 or linux instances. Resources are pooled from several servers to make these instances available.