Several computing service models and programs are offered by IS&T’s Research Computing Services (RCS) group. These offerings, which include shared, buy-in/coop, dedicated and co-located systems, provide researchers with a full spectrum of computing options ranging from university-wide, fully-shared resources to dedicated, individually owned and operated machines. In most case the systems are centrally managed by Research Computing staff; in all cases the physical infrastructure – space, power, cooling, and core networking – is provided by the University without charge-back to individual researchers or departments.

  • The shared service model applies to equipment which is acquired with a significant university contribution, either fully funded centrally or under an institutional-level infrastructure grant leveraged by substantial matching funds. These computing resources are offered without charge to all faculty and research staff on a fair-share allocation basis. Allocations are reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff. Nearly half of the Shared Computing Cluster (SCC) is available to researchers as a shared service.
  • The buy-in program allows researchers to acquire additional, standardized hardware to support their individual research projects. The additional resources are integrated into the shared facility and managed centrally by the RCS group. The owners of the equipment are given priority access while any excess capacity is returned to the pool for general, shared use. The owners of the equipment determine the access and queuing policies for their portion of the facility. All other standard services are provided without charge.
  • Dedicated service is provided for systems that are non-standard or otherwise cannot be shared under the buy-in model due to their specialized computing requirements. The systems are acquired under individual research grants, but are hosted and managed centrally by the Research Computing staff. Physical infrastructure is provided without charge, but equipment, systems administration, software licenses and other direct costs are paid directly by the researcher. Usage policies and software stacks are specified by the owner.
  • Co-location (co-lo) is a stand-alone service that is provided at the MGHPCC data center in Holyoke, MA. The services provides researcher with basic rack space, power, cooling and a base (1GigE) network connection. The owner is responsible for all of the costs of the system: hardware, software, systems administration and maintenance, including time and material cost for operational support (remote hands) provided by/through the MGHPCC.

Benefits Matrix

The table below details exactly what benefits will be available to you under each of the research computing service models described above.

(✓) Included    (R) Researcher Funded    (O) Optional    (-) Not Available

Benefits Shared Buy-In Dedicated Co-lo
Baseline/Buy-in compute O
Chassis & networking
Baseline/Buy-in storage O
File servers (FE) & SAN backend
Staff Services
Programming assistance O O
Training O O
Usage consulting & support O
System management, monitoring and security R
Other Services
Backups R O
Archive O O O
Virtual Hands Support O
Data Center facilities
10GigE WAN + Backbone
Power & Cooling