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Server StackThe information technology (IT) infrastructure and environment at the University of Texas at Austin are robust, secure, and mature.  Our IT resources are housed in state of the art facilities that are protected and professionally managed and are equipped with multiple capacities and back-up power.  In addition to our traditional services, ITS offers researchers the following resources to support grant writing and research activities at the University of Texas at Austin:

  ♦ Data storage
  ♦ Data security
  ♦ Hardware co-location
  ♦ Network access
  ♦ Web services
  ♦ Database services
  ♦ Virtual machine hosting
  ♦ Information security
  ♦ Application support

Common Good Services: ITS provides common good services, like web, database, and encryption services—free to all researchers. 

Fee for Service: ITS provides several services, like data storage, virtual machine hosting, and network services, at a cost greatly reduced from the market price.

ITS Service Matrix - a spreadsheet giving detailed information about data storage & backup, website, and email services

In addition to these services, ITS provides researchers consulting on the following topics:  technical analyst training; repair services; desktop, printing, and server support; software development; information security; and infrastructure services.

ITS Resources in Detail

Data storage

Data storage refers to the specific method you might choose to house your data during the research process.  ITS offers both dynamic and static data storage options.  Dynamic options include cloud storage, hard disk back up storage, and storage in our data center.  With dynamic storage options, you can store and interact with your data as you work.  Static storage options offer the ability to store data in a secure space once interaction with the data is complete. 

ITS offers several data storage options.  Those options include WebSpace for smaller data projects, the data center for larger projects, and storage at the Texas Advanced Computing Center for significant data manipulation, visualization and storage.

Up to 1GB of data may be stored for free in individual researcher WebSpace

The University Data Center offers UT Austin researchers a world-class facility designed to meet or exceed industry standards. The data center offers several services including:

  • Protecting critical research data with enhanced physical security
     
  • Ensuring availability of research systems with redundant electrical and mechanical systems

  • Connection to research networks and the Texas Advanced Computing Center using the high bandwidth, redundant, enterprise-class network

The data center provides professional, dedicated staff on site 24/7/365 to ensure the data center operates at peak effectiveness and a move-in ready facility that provide current and long-term space needs. The data center also provides a dedicated project team and proven process available to manage and support new installs or migrations from existing space.

Costs for data center services vary by service and are located on the ITS User Services web space.

Static storage options are offered through the libraries and through the Texas Advanced Computing Center.  As part of their digital repository, the libraries will store final research data in perpetuity for free (individual file size can't exceed 1GB because of the web interface).  If your final data set is larger, storage options are available through the Texas Advanced Computing Center.  You can also purchase hardware and smaller back up storage devices through UT Market.


Data Security

UT System has issued rules for all researchers to ensure that sensitive digital research data is appropriately protected. Protecting research data requires a commonsense approach to managing computer systems, which can be addressed by researchers meeting the Minimum Security Standards for Data Stewardship

To support data security efforts, ITS also offers complete Enterprise Whole Disk Encryption options. 

Enterprise Whole Disk Encryption provides a security solution for faculty and staff concerned about protecting the sensitive digital data on their Windows, Mac, and Linux portable devices from theft, unauthorized release, and tampering. When computers are utilizing whole-disk encryption, they are protected from unauthorized access to research and other data in the event they are lost or stolen. The primary software used for providing Enterprise Whole Disk Encryption is SecureDoc.  The service complies with the requirements for protecting portable devices, outlined in the Information Resources Use and Security Policy, Section 5.20.  Enterprise Whole Disk Encryption is free for faculty and staff. 

Significant data manipulation, storage, and visualization projects may be accessed through the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

 

Hardware collocation

Hardware collocation allows researcher to locate hardware for data storage in a facility outside their department in the data center—saving space and human resources.  The data center allows for departments to collocate hardware.  The center is outfitted with standard cabinets equipped with a switch that has a 10 gigabit (Gb) connection to the core campus network, as well as a connection to the out-of-band server management network. The job of managing the physical space and network for IT equipment is shared between unit labs and facilities to maximize local capacity.

Hardware collocation cost estimator: [Device Power Capacity (Watts) x .75] x $1.70

The rate is calculated by multiplying the per-watt rate of $1.70 times the "nameplate" power capacity of a device, as listed in the Rackwise database used by ITS. The nameplate value usually assumes that the device is configured to its maximum capacity, and we multiply that by a factor of .75 based on the assumption that most devices are not at maximum capacity. You can use the Co-location Cost Estimator to calculate the rate for common equipment, or to enter your own equipment and get an estimate.

 

Network Access

The network of the University of Texas is robust and mature.  Our network provides high speed connections to national and regional research networks (Internet 2, National Lambda Rail, Lone Star Education and Research Network and soon the UT System Research Network) -- all at 10Gpbs.  This network enables cross-institutional collaboration and resource sharing.


Our on campus network also supports building network connections at up to 10Gbps to reach the commodity and research networks. And the Texas Advanced Computing Center (10Gbps) is connected directly to the campus network at 10Gbps -- where more can be added if needed.

Features:

  • Simple, secure wireless connections that use 802.1x authentication with 'restricted.utexas.edu'

Cost

External bandwidth available at no cost:

  • Students: 500MB/week
  • Faculty: 75GB/week
  • Staff and offical visitors: 5GB/week
  • Part-time staff: 1.5GB/week

 

Web services

Web services at the University of Texas are large, diverse, and decentralized allowing for service across campus to meet researcher needs.  All faculty are allocated 1GB of storage, safe for storing Category 1 level data, for web publishing at no cost.  For larger web publishing and storage needs, UNIX web hosting, capable of storing 5 to 10 MB of space and compatible with HTML as well as CGI and PHP scripting, is also available at a cost of $10 per year.  Services include analytics with Urchin, quality and accessibility training with WebXM, security testing with AppScan, search services through Google and htDig, streaming video with Helix/RealServer, and blogs through WordPress Mu.  Publishing tools range from Dreamweaver and text editors to publishing systems like Drupal, Expression Engine and WordPress. ITS provides in person consulting services for web development and hosting. 

 

Database services

Professional databases in use at the University of Texas include Oracle, MySQL, and SQL Server with 1GB of storage space.  These relational databases are Enterprise level database management systems that allow for development and storage of large data sets. These databases can be self or professionally managed.  Fees for service are included in the linked database pages.  ITS also offers no fee database consulting services to assist with developing your data base structure. 

 

Virtual Machine Hosting

Virtual machine hosting is a form of web hosting service where more than one instance of the same web server is hosted on a single physical server. It allows a user to remotely access data and software on a given machine. Running a server requires having appropriate support infrastructure, taking physical security precautions, and performing regular hardware upgrades and maintenance. However, using an ITS virtual server eliminates these tasks while providing a virtual machine with a fully-fledged operating system completely customized for your individual needs.
ITS provides the infrastructure for the virtual server. You can choose to manage the operating system and all applications installed on your instance of the server yourself, or you can contract with ITS Server Technical Support to manage them for you.
2012-2013 Year Pricing for Virtual Machine Hosting
Virtual servers are purchased on a per machine unit (VMU) basis. Additional CPUs and hard drive space can be purchased as well.
Option Specifications Cost/Year
1 Virtual Machine Unit (VMU)

1 GB RAM
25 GB OS Storage
1 vCPU

$100
Virtual Machine Storage Unit (VMSU) 100GB $40

Which configuration do you need? See these examples:
Customer Configuration
Purchase Provisioned Configuration Cost/Year

 

One Windows Virtual Machine with 8GB of RAM and 250 GB of additional Storage

 

 

 

8 VMU

3 VMSU

 

 

 Windows VM

8GB vRAM

50GB OS Drive

300GB Additional Storage

VMU: $800

VMSU: $120

 

 

One Linux Virtual Machine with 1GB RAM

 

1 VMU

 

1 Linux VM

1 GB RAM

25GB OS DRive

VMU: $100

 

 



Information security

The University of Texas has one of the most secure networks in the United States.  Our information security services:

  • Provide real-time intrusion detection and proactive vulnerability assessment services for one of the single largest campuses in the country to ensure the protection of systems and intellectual property
     
  • Provide custom data ex-filtration detection services for sensitive research projects to detect any confidential research data that might be leaked to an unauthorized end point
     
  • Provide consultative services to help researchers with a variety of information security related components of their research project (fulfilling security requirements for grants, disaster recovery planning, sourcing secure IT services on/off campus, addressing various IT or physical security risks associated with the project)
     
  • Assist in coordination with the Office of Sponsored Projects, in assessing the security of research projects handling sensitive data with the goal of ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the associated data is secure

The Minimum Security Standards for Data Stewardship outline the basic security services for researchers.  Additionally researcher must comply with the sensitive data and technology controls outlined by the University. 


Application support

An application or an "app," is software designed to help a user perform specific tasks. Examples of applications include accounting software, vocal interface software, media players, graphics software tools, and many others. Applications can be the product of research. ITS offers concept to execution consulting services on the security and development of applications.

The Application Registry is a Web-based database that allows researchers to record information about the applications they have developed or installed in their areas. The Application Registry interface includes a wizard interface consisting of nine core questions plus context-sensitive follow-up questions that help staff identify:

This is an optional service UT researchers can use to determine if applications meet the minimum University standard, document applications for audit or other reporting purposes, or search other applications that have been entered.

Features:

  • Full integration of the Minimum Standards for Application Development and Administration to drive data entry
  • Web interface makes it easy to identify items that need to be improved
  • Search function lets you find applications that have already been entered
  • Portfolios manage access to data about applications contained in the registry
  • Templates encourage efficient data entry and reuse
  • EID protected to limit access to faculty and staff at UT Austin

 

 

Contact

Angela Newell, Coordinator
Information Technology Services
datamanagement@lib.utexas.edu
512-232-8066

 

If you are unsure of what resources your project may need, please fill out this short questionnaire and we will direct you to the appropriate people and resources.