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Computing Facilities And Services: Summary

There are a variety of facilities described throughout these pages. This is a summary, with pointers to the pages describing specifics. See the New Users section for documentation. In that section

  • Getting Started will tell you how to create an account, change password, etc.
  • Beginners Info is our documentation collection, describing how to work with Linux, the major programming languages, and our specialized resources. Of the programming languages, using Python on our systems and OpenGL programming need specific attention.
  • How To contains information on logistical issues: Accounts, Printing, Firewalls, Filesharing, etc

For status and statistics for all systems run by LCSR, see report.cs.rutgers.edu

Linux Systems. Centos 7 (with one exception)

For specific hostnames and locations of the systems listed below, see Configurations of all generally-available Linux systems run by LCSR.

  • Instructional: available to grad students, resesarchers, undergraduate majors and undergraduates taking CS courses
    • 37 desktop systems in Hill 248, 252, and 254. 16 or 32 GB, most have CUDA-compatible GPUs. Details and availability of ilab desktops.
    • ilab.cs.rutgers.edu. Virtual address pointing to a set of 3 multi-user systems, with 1 TB of memory, 80 cores, and 8 1080Ti GPUs each
    • Instructional Hadoop cluster. 3 node cluster, with full set of Hadoop and Spark tools. Jupyterhub and Zeppelin notebooks.
    • ilabx.cs.rutgers.edu. Ubuntu 18, 20 cores, 64 GB memory. Intended for software that won't work on Centos. Login only faculty and students in courses that need it. If you need to use it, contact help@cs.rutgers.edu
    • Researchers should avoid large CPU or GPU usage during times with peak instructional use. 
    • Limits: There are limits to memory usage on these systems. If you're running long jobs, you need to register them so we know you're doing it intentionally. See Limits Enforced on CS Machines
  • Graduate student and faculty office desktops: 58 systems in offices, with 16 or 32 GB of memory.
  • Faculty servers: 2 VMs, with 16 GB of memory. These are intended primarily so that faculty can do grading and other tasks on systems to which only faculty have access. Connect to faculty.cs.rutgers.edu.
  • Research systems, available to faculty and others as authorized by faculty. aurora.cs.rutgers.edu has 1 TB of memory and 80 cores, with local SSD storage. There are several older systems, of which only two are probably of interest: grande.rutgers.edu, with 64 GB of memory and 16 cores, and venti.rutgers.edu, with 128 GB of memory and 32 cores. Complete list of research systems.
  • Web hosting: You can put HTML and other files intended for web access in your public_html directory. They will be visible as www.cs.rutgers.edu/~username. Ilab, faculty, grad, and research each has their own home directories, so you could have 4 different public_html directories. Please use only one of those possible directories. We also maintain a Wordpress system for project web pages. See the VM section below.
  • There are additional systems run by researchers that are not available to the general community. Most of them use Ubuntu Linux. Many of them have GPUs.

Storage

  • Home Directories: User home directories and other shared storage are on a 40 GB Network Applications file server, connected at 10 Gbps. Home directories are 3 or 4 GB, depending upon the system.
  • /common/users: For those who need more storage, all generally available systems mount /common/users. This is a 100 TB partition, mounted on an Aberdeen, Inc, file server at 10 Gbps. User quotas are 100 GB on this system. /common/users is on one of 3 1 PB Aberdeen file servers. Users with storage needs not met by home directories and /common/users should contact help@cs.rutgers.edu. We can normally accommodate needs with special file systems on either the Network Applications or Aberdeen systems.
  • Project Directories: For projects and teams that want to share storage, /common/users/shared is set so that any user can create a directory and set it to be shared by a group. See Making A Directory You Can Share.
  • Backups: Home directories and other storage on the Network Applications system are snapshotted, and backed up both in a separate building (CBIM) and monthly at a commercial offsite storage facility. /common/users is backed up in CBIM. Other storage on the Aberdeens can be backed up at CBIM on request.
  • Local storage: Most systems have some local storage, often mounted as /local. This storage is NOT BACKED UP. It is intended for jobs that need large work files. Source files and results should be stored on your home directory or /common/users.
  • Access from systems not run by LCSR: Home directories, /common/users, and other file systems can be mounted on research systems run by faculty, as long as those systems use Kerberos authentication. See Integrating Your Systems With LCSR Kerberos.

Virtual Machines

LCSR runs a large number of virtual machines, both for its own internal use, and for a variety of instructional and research needs. VMs can use Centos, Ubuntu, or Windows. Typically users who request VMs act as their own system administrators, but LCSR is willing to do updates for system software.

  • There are two 1 TB servers hosting VMs for instructional and student needs. These are commonly used in courses that have requirements not met by shared instructional systems. Requests should be sent to help@cs.rutgers.edu. Most commonly LCSR staff will work with the instructor to configure appropriate software, and then will duplicate a master copy for each student or student team. There is a web interface that allows students to start, stop, and restore their VM to its initial configuration. Grad students may request personal VMs if needed for their own projects.
  • There are about 5 servers running VMware. These are used for a variety of services, such as web servers and administrative applications. LCSR infrastructure such as the Kerberos servers also run on these VMs. Faculty may request VMs for their use. They're commonly used for group web servers, and for applications in support of research projects.
  • There is a Wordpress system set up to host web sites for research projects. It has a web interface that will allow faculty to create and administer their own sites, using templates that default to Rutgers standards, but can be customized. For more information, see Computer Science Web Hosting. (You can also make web pages available by putting them in public_html on our shared computer systems.)

Hackerspace

Hackerspace has a collection of special-purpose devices intended for courses and student projects. These include

  • Makerbot 3D printer
  • Systems on a disconnected network, for students to try security attacks
  • Arduinos and related hardware
  • Parts for building electronic equipment
  • Small robotics equipment, such as Lego Mindstorm and iRobot Create
  • ARDrone
  • VR equipment

We have a budget to buy special-purpose devices as needed for courses, but we try to keep one or two of devices that we think will be useful for future courses and projects.

Networking

A large data network interconnects all of LCSR's facilities. The wireline network contains 64 switches, 166 10 Gbps ports, 1316 1 Gbps ports, and 528 100 Mbps ports, on 222 VLANs. The core is a mix of 10 and 40 Gbps. This network is used by all systems in computer science, even if LCSR doesn't run the systems.

LCSR, in cooperation with the University, supports a wireless network covering all areas of the department.

Outside connectivity is provided via the University’s access to the Internet, Internet2, and various special-purpose networks. LCSR also maintains an extensive security infrastructure over the network, including firewalls, custom intrusion detection software, and provides post-mortem analysis of compromised machines. 

Directory Services and Authentication

LCSR maintains a set of 3 servers running Redhat's IPA. This is a combination of LDAP and Kerberos. All systems maintained by LCSR use this for authentication and user information. We encourage faculty to use these services for systems that they run. By using LCSR Kerberos and directory services, systems will be able to access shared file systems. It also provides an easy way to maintain the list of authorized users for a set of systems. See Integrating Your System with LCSR Kerberos.

In addition to this systems, LCSR has a variety of data about faculty, staff and students, in a set of Oracle databases used for administrative applications. Please contact hedrick@rutgers.edu if you need this data for an application.

Facilities Outside Computer Science

OARC is a University group that provides high-performance computing. Computer science in general doesn't have a conventional HPC cluster. We concentrate on GPUs and more specialized hardware. For large-scale HPC and data science, OARC is the best source. They have a large cluster, Amarel. It is intended as a "condo" cluster. I.e. grants buy nodes, and are guaranteed at least as much capacity as they purchased. The cost is matched by the University. Howver some capacity is available for those who haven't bought into the system, particularly for course work and student use.

For more information see the OARC web site.

LCSR Services

In addition to running computing systems, LCSR provides support for faculty and students in computer science. Some commonly used services are

  • Planning. This includes helping to identify the best resources for both instructional and research use, and help in configuring systems for purchase. LCSR encourages faculty to talk with us about courses or projects that will have special requirements.
  • Hardware installation, network configuration, and support for hardware purchased by faculty and not administered by LCSR.
  • Support. LCSR provides help for users of facilities it runs. But it also provides assistance in setting up and solving problems on systems run by researchers.
  • Programming. LCSR can provide staff to do programming for research projects. We have both full-time and student programmers available. 

For help in using systems, please contact help@cs.rutgers.edu. For planning and programming support, contact the LCSR director, hedrick@rutgers.edu