At IU, what research computing services are available?
The Research Technologies division of UITS provides the robust, reliable supercomputing and storage systems, advanced media and interactive visualization technologies, widely used scientific, analytical, and bioinformatics applications, and proven professional training, consultation, and support services that embody the core of Indiana University's advanced scholarly and artistic cyberinfrastructure, thereby enabling enhanced productivity and discovery in research computing, and amplifying the talents of local and national researchers.
Note: Many of the technology services Research Technologies provides are formally aligned with the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). See What technology resources does IU provide for researchers working with data elements containing HIPAA-regulated ePHI?
On this page:
- High-performance computational and storage systems
- Visualization and analysis systems and services
- Scientific, statistical, mathematical, bioinformatics, advanced multimedia, and interactive visualization software
- Data collections and open source software
- Online tools
- Condominium and cloud computing
- Support and consultation services
High-performance computational and storage systems
IU researchers have access to world-class supercomputers and data storage systems; for more, see:
- At IU, what supercomputer systems are available for academic research?
- What research storage systems are available at IU?
To request an account on an Indiana University research system, see At IU, if I already have some computing accounts, how do I get others? Account availability depends on your eligibility.
Visualization and analysis systems and services
The Visualization and Analytics area of Research Technologies provides systems, software, and services that help IU researchers extract knowledge from their data through a variety of visualization techniques, quantitative analysis methods, and community-oriented workflows. Visualization and Analytics also provides advanced media and interactive visualization technologies that enable IU students, educators, and artists express their creative visions. For more, see:
- Advanced visualization systems at IU
- Advanced Visualization Lab
- Research Analytics
- Science Gateways Group
Scientific, statistical, mathematical, bioinformatics, advanced multimedia, and interactive visualization software
IU students, faculty, and staff have access to a wide variety of scientific, statistical, mathematical, bioinformatics, advanced multimedia, and interactive visualization applications to support their research. Most applications are available on either the research supercomputers or the Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL) systems. Additionally, some scientific, mathematical, and statistical applications are available on the computers in the Student Technology Centers (STCs), or via IUware and IUanyWare. For more, see:
- Software available on IU's research supercomputers
- Bioinformatics software supported by the National Center for Genome Analysis Support (NCGAS)
- Statistical and mathematical software supported by Research Analytics
- Advanced multimedia and interactive visualization software supported by the AVL
If you have questions about compilers, programming, scientific/numerical libraries, or debuggers on IU's research systems, request help or information from the Scientific Applications and Performance Tuning team. For help installing or working with genome analysis applications on Mason, email NCGAS.
If you have questions about using statistical and mathematical software at Indiana University, email UITS Research Analytics. Research Analytics is located on the IU Bloomington campus at Woodburn Hall 200, and is open for consultation by appointment Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
Data collections and open source software
Additionally, Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) Research Centers, along with PTI Service and Cyberinfrastructure Centers, provide numerous digital data collections and online services, and distribute open source applications, all of which enable scientific research at IU and throughout the US; for more, see:
Research Technologies provides several online tools designed to help IU researchers effectively collaborate with each other while effectively using the IU cyberinfrastructure to achieve their scientific goals:
- Alfresco Share: Alfresco Share is a powerful software platform for collaboration, simplifying the capture, sharing, and retrieval of information across virtual teams. For more, see At IU, what is Alfresco Share?
- IU Cyberinfrastructure Gateway: The Cyberinfrastructure Gateway is an online portal designed to centralize information about and access to IU's advanced scholarly and artistic cyberinfrastructure. For more, see What is the IU Cyberinfrastructure Gateway?
- Indiana CTSI HUB: The Indiana CTSI HUB is an online portal providing information and tools to biomedical researchers at IU, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame, and to local and national community health organizations. For more, see:
- Galaxy: The National Center for Genome Analysis Support (NCGAS) provides Galaxy @ IU, a web-based platform for data-intensive genome analysis research. Galaxy @ IU employs IU's Mason cluster for compute services and the IU Data Capacitor for project storage, and is hosted on IU's Quarry Gateway Web Services Hosting System. For more, see NCGAS Galaxy Services.
- MyOSG: The MyOSG portal is a centralized location for finding information, tools, and services related to the Open Science Grid (OSG), a distributed computing infrastructure that interoperates with multiple other grid infrastructures, allowing scientists to seamlessly harness grid-computing resources worldwide for large-scale scientific research. The OSG Operations Center at IU provides a single point of operational support for OSG users, resource providers, and collaborators. For more, see the OSG website and the OSG wiki.
- REDCap: IU's Research Electronic Data Capture REDCap system is a web-based database management tool for capturing, using, and sharing research data. For more, see At IU, what is REDCap, and how do I get an account?
Condominium and cloud computing
Research Technologies condominium computing services are designed to allow IU departments to offload the work of managing, securing, and backing up their departmental research IT systems and system components.
If you or your IU sub-unit have money available to use for a computing cluster, you always have the option of buying and operating your own cluster, as well as managing it, backing it up, and securing it against hackers. Alternatively, you can purchase nodes that are compatible with IU's Karst cluster, have them installed in the very secure IUB Data Center, have them available when you want to use them, and have them managed, backed up, and secured by UITS Research Technologies staff. With this option, you get access to your nodes within seconds of requesting their use. Additionally, when they are not in use, they become available to others in the IU community, thereby expanding the computing capability available to the IU community while conserving natural resources and energy. Since any piece of computing equipment has a relatively short useful life (about four years), and it takes considerable energy and a variety of metals to make a computer node, the least environmental impact is achieved by using computing equipment to its absolute maximum capability. Because of the benefits to the IU community, UITS generally hosts condominium computing nodes without charging maintenance or operations fees.
Through Indiana University's partnership with Penguin Computing, members of the US higher education community (including IU faculty, staff, and departments) can purchase on-demand computational and storage services through the Penguin-On-Demand (POD) "Cluster as a Service" offering. The POD service provides the convenience and flexibility of other cloud computing providers, with two important differences:
- The POD service employs a real high-performance supercomputer cluster, not virtual machines.
- Because the POD system (Rockhopper) is physically located inside the IU Data Center, researchers can be assured their data are securely stored and maintained.
Support and consultation services
Note: Consulting services and computing cycles are offered to students, faculty, and staff as baseline services through university funding without any direct charge. However, some services (such as requests to maintain personal/departmental workstations and software for such workstations) may be on a charge-back basis. See Research Technologies (RT) Chargeback Services Policy for details. Consulting services for an extended period of time (over 20 hours) require a signed agreement between the researcher and UITS. For more, see "Guidelines for and terms of Research Technologies extended consulting services" in RT Policy on Prioritization of Work.
IU researchers can receive short- and long-term support and consulting to help them effectively use scientific software and other innovative information technologies that advance scholarship in basic and biomedical life sciences, and genome analysis. For more, see:
- Advanced Biomedical IT Core (ABITC): Ways we can help
- Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL): Consulting services
- Collaboration and Engagement Support
- National Center for Genome Analysis Support: NCGAS services
- Research Analytics: Software consulting
- Scientific Applications and Performance Tuning (SciAPT)
HIPAA security consulting
The UITS Advanced Biomedical IT Core provides consulting and online help for Indiana University researchers who need help securely processing, storing, and sharing data containing PHI. If you need help or have questions about managing HIPAA-regulated data at IU, contact the ABITC. For additional details about HIPAA compliance at IU, see HIPAA & ABITC and the Office of Vice President and General Counsel (OVPGC) HIPAA Privacy & Security page.
System-specific support is also available from Research Technologies. Use the corresponding links below to request help with or information about the following systems:
News, training, and more information
For news on research computing services available at IU, see the Research Technologies News page. For training opportunities, see Cyberinfrastructure Training and InfoShares. For more see, Where can I get help using IU's supercomputers?
This is document anrf in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-04-15.
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