Your research is core to the university's mission, and ITS is committed to providing the technology you need to make it all happen.
ITS is dedicated to meeting your unique technology needs. A variety of technologies including high performance computing, parallel storage systems and scientific software are available to support your research.
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Looking to secure funding for upcoming research? The ITS Research Computing Center (RCC) provides several services to help with preparing grant proposals.
Schedule a Consultation
The best way to take advantage of RCC resources when preparing your next grant proposal is to talk to us. Email us or stop by to discuss what resources we offer and if there are collaborative opportunities in your grant for our services.
Use Specialized Language in Your Proposal
If you intend to take advantage of RCC resources in your grant, we have prepared language found in the Facilities Statement section below that you can include in your proposal for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other agencies.
Letter of Support or Collaboration
A letter of support or collaboration certifies the principle investigator will have access to the campus resources described in the proposal. The RCC can provide this letter with adequate time allowed for preparation.
Data Management Plan
If your grant agency requires a data management plan, the RCC and our partners at FSU Libraries can help you prepare and manage this plan.
FSU Office of Research Resources
Visit the FSU Office of Research Development for a comprehensive collection of resources available to faculty writing grants at FSU.
RCC staff can assist researchers in navigating the regulatory compliance issues associated with data storage and retention.
The RCC will assist any research with curation, protection and data workflow. However, final responsibility for any software or research data lies with the owner of the data. Data stored on RCC resources may or may not fall under privacy, security and data retention policies issued by FSU or other regulatory agencies. This includes any data that might fall under HIPAA or FERPA-protection. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to classify data stored on RCC systems.
The RCC provides several security mechanisms to researchers to protect data from unauthorized access:
- RCC staff create dedicated, access-controlled (POSIX ACLs) volumes for data that resides on RCC shared filesystems; it is the responsibility of the PI to grant or revoke access to these volumes via the RCC website or by requesting RCC staff make ACL changes
- RCC staff will ensure that only users approved by the PI will be able to access data that resides on dedicated storage nodes in the form of regular files or database information
- RCC staff members patch all storage systems with the latest security releases
It is the responsibility of the PI to maintain a list of authorized users that are allowed to access data.
For data that cannot be stored on RCC resources due to regulatory restrictions, RCC staff will assist researchers in acquiring, configuring and managing an alternative solution.
Feel free to copy relevant portions of this text into your research proposals. This text includes language that is appropriate for inclusion in RCC facilities descriptions for NSF, NIH and other agency proposals.
Research Computing Center
The Florida State University Research Computing Center (RCC) operates as an academic services unit within Information Technology Services. The RCC director oversees nine permanent professional staff and a variable number of term-limited project staff and students.
The RCC staff are responsible for maintaining core systems and are assigned to work in support of specific research domain projects. The RCC staff offices are located on the main campus of FSU on the first floor of the Dirac Science Library.
High-Performance Computing (HPC)
The Florida State University HPC system is comprised of 17,600 x86 64-bit compute cores linked together by low-latency InfiniBand networks for MPI communication. The aggregate peak performance of the system is 512.8 TFLOPS. Compute nodes support between 4 and 64GB of memory per core, with servers up to 256GB. A redundant cluster of specialized login nodes serves as the user entry point for the system.
The cluster utilizes the SchedMD Slurm scheduler for job submission and scheduling. Slurm is an open-source scheduling system that automates the job submission, allocation and management process for HPC users. To maximize the utility of the system, we offer a broad set of compilers, math/communication libraries and software applications to users. Users can request the installation of new software by RCC staff. Using container technologies such as Docker and Singularity, users are free to configure their software environments for individual research projects.
Interactive Computing and Scientific Visualization
Large datasets generated on the RCC computing resources or by research instrumentation on or off the FSU campus can be interactively analyzed and explored using the Spear Interactive Computing Cluster. The Spear cluster is comprised of over 280 x86 64-bit processor cores linked with other RCC resources over a high-speed IP network. Users log into Spear nodes directly and run interact with data through a basic shell or X11-based graphical applications.
The RCC maintains two file systems to facilitate data analysis pipelines and workflows:
- A 3.1 PB parallel file system (GPFS) is mounted on all of the HPC compute, login and storage export nodes over a 40Gbps network.
- A 1.41 PB archival storage system is available through Globus GridFTP for long-term storage and sharing of research data.
Researchers can transfer data to and from these storage systems via the highly reliable and performant Globus Service. Users can also transfer data via more common protocols, such as SFTP or rsync.
Data Center Facilities and Network Connectivity
Computing and data storage resources managed by the RCC reside in a managed data center located in the Sliger Building at the Florida State University Innovation Park campus.
The facility is equipped with raised floors and redundant HVAC cooling systems, extensive power distribution systems, large format UPS battery backup systems and diesel-powered backup generators for prolonged outages. The data center is connected to the campus enterprise and research networks via multiple 40Gbps and 100Gpbs connections.
The data center also connects directly to the Florida LambdaRail, a dedicated 10Gbps regional optical network. The Florida LambdaRail makes high-speed data transfer and collaborative storage possible among major Florida universities.
Florida Cyber Infrastructure
Florida State University is a founding member of the Sunshine State Education and Research Computing Alliance (SSERCA), which was created in 2010 to bring together Florida's geographically distributed educational institutions in a way that maximizes their collective impact on research and education. SSERCA provides the management and technology framework to share and access resources distributed across the State of Florida.
The alliance currently supports several projects with sophisticated workflows and complicated data and compute requirements. Current member organizations include FAMU, FIT, FIU, FSU, UCF, UFL, UM, UNF and USF. The Florida LambdaRail provides connectivity to all institutions in the alliance. More details regarding how SSERCA is accelerating research in the State of Florida are available at sserca.org.
To maintain a safe and trusted compute and data storage platform, the RCC security infrastructure includes the following measures:
- Data center located in a secure facility with restricted access
- System access requires valid and active FSUID credentials
- System access dependent on connection to FSU VPN or physical presence on campus
- Storage systems access restricted to dedicated groups with controlled membership
- Access control list is regularly audited
- Access filters for multiple layers on the RCC network
- Firewall configured for all system nodes
- Adherence to best practices for Linux security measures
- RCC user account required for all users
- Users required to adhere to all rules listed in RCC policies
If your data providers or grant officer requires more specific information regarding RCC security controls, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acknowledgments are always welcome.
If the content in your publication is based, even in part, on work performed using RCC resources, please recognize this in the Acknowledgements section of the publication. For example:
The computing for this project was performed on the high performance computing (HPC) cluster at the Florida State University Research Computing Center.
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