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Computing to Support Research

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Above and Beyond the Desktop

Stanford Research Computing, a joint effort of the Dean of Research and University IT, comprises a world class team focused on delivering and supporting comprehensive programs that advance computational and data-intensive research across Stanford. That includes engineering, managing, and supporting traditional high-performance computing (HPC) systems and services, as well as resources for high throughput and data-intensive computing. Research Computing also helps researchers transition their analyses and models from the desktop to more capable and plentiful resources, providing the opportunity to explore data and answer research questions (on premise or in the cloud) at a scale typically not possible on desktops or departmental servers.

Often partnering with other Stanford units and select vendors, Research Computing offers training and learning opportunities around high-end computing tools and technologies, as well as consultation to help you find the best solution for the kinds of computing and analytics you want to do.

Systems Engineering

Within the computational system engineering area, we offer services and full-stack technology resources in these three primary areas:

  • HPC — system design, acquisition, deployment and management for research clusters at various scales. Our primary focus is on shared compute clusters and storage systems for modeling, simulation and data analysis. We work directly with faculty and their research teams to understand their computational requirements and deliver solutions to meet those. We also connect researchers to national very large scale HPC resources and help onboard them there if campus resources are insufficient.
  • Cloud and Platforms — our goal in this area is to provide seamless transitions of workloads to commercial cloud services when, in consultation with a research team, those are determined to be the best resources to meet their science requirements. We build platforms to enable ease of use, leveraging cloud native technologies when possible.
  • Custom Research Systems — on a contract basis, we manage custom research compute and storage systems for individual faculty, research units or collections of labs.

See Compute Clusters and HPC Platforms.

Engagement and Consulting

Having access to sufficient computational and analysis platforms is necessary for many areas of research today, but access alone isn’t sufficient. Research Computing team members provide consultation and support for all of the platforms we manage. Specialists are available to help you use any of the managed systems in a more efficient and effective way. We provide that consultation and assistance via email, office hours, custom training sessions, and one-on-one appointments. But, as importantly, we provide consultation on what computing resources and services are best suited for the problems you are trying to solve, and then connect you to those. In addition, we offer consultation on system specification and resource requirements for grant proposals.

See Services.

Facilities Management and Operations

We manage an award-winning energy efficient data center designed specifically for hosting high density research computing clusters and storage systems. Partnering with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the School of Medicine, Stanford’s Research Computing Facility (SRCF) is the preferred location for hosting servers and systems used for research. Opened for use at the beginning of 2014, the SRCF is approaching capacity already and thus planning is underway for expansion so we can continue to meet the needs of the research community.

See Hosting Facilities.