National Science Foundation (NSF) Facilities Statement


CSE researchers may use this CSE facilities statement in NSF grant proposals. We wrote this statement in late May 2012. Email to update the statement when it has gone stale.

Concise Facilities Statement

General research facilities include more than 200 i386 servers, x86_64 servers, SPARC-servers, PCs, and thin-client workstations. The systems include three Dell Optiplexes, twenty-two Dell PowerEdges, two Dell Precision, one Sun 5220, one Sun Blade 1000, two Sun Fire 280R, two Sun Fire V20Zs, more than 100 Sun Ray thin client terminals, one Sun Ultra-60s, and a Dell PowerEdge based virtual machine infrastructure. These systems are attached to a NetApp FAS2050A installed with 13 TB of disk space. Nine Dell Optiplex systems are configured as Linux and Windows student workstations. Laser printing resources are readily available.

Program-specific research facilities include over 50 dedicated research systems. The Computer-Assisted Diagnostics Interventions (CADI) Lab houses a 21-member compute cluster connected to a data storage device with 10 TB of installed capacity. The CyberInfrastructure (CI) Lab houses a 14-member Open Science Grid (OSG) compute cluster connected to a 15 TB (installed) data storage device. The Bioinformatics, Database, Data Mining, and Multimedia Group houses dedicated Oracle, MySQL, and compute servers. The Vision and Perceptual Machines Lab (VPML) include two Apple Xserves. Lab space and offices provided in Davis Hall houses workstations and specialized equipment for researchers. The departmental network-attached storage device provides 13 TB of installed disk space for general and specific research projects.

The PI in his office has [insert office stuff here].

Verbose Facilities Statement

Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) maintains multiple information technology services and facilities to support its research mission. These resources and facilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Storage infrastructures
  • Compute services
  • Lab and conference facilities
  • Desktop infrastructures
  • Application and database hosting
  • Network and firewalling
  • Disaster recovery
  • Asset and license management / procurement
  • Print and digital imaging services
  • Security systems and environmental monitoring

Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) data storage facilities include vulcan, a NetApp FAS 2050A storage area network that provides 12 TB of installed storage capacity, redundant network access paths and RAID 6 data redundancy. Several network attached storage devices, exceeding 30 TB are used by researchers for various purposes. A variety of timeshare machines and virtualized servers running samba provide data access services.

CSE faculty compute systems include castor, a Sun Blade 1000; hornet, a virtualized 2012 R2 (Windows 8.1) Remote Desktop server; the-who, a Sun Fire V20z desktop virtualization server; benatar, a virtualized general compute server; and the underground cluster, a 4-node compute cluster comprised of Dell 1425s. CSE Faculty also have use of all CSE student systems (below).

CSE student compute systems include timberlake, a Dell PowerEdge R600 compute server; metallica, a Dell PowerEdge R500 compute server; pollux, a Sun Sparc enterprise T5220 compute server; coldplay, a Sun Fire V20z compute server; fork, a Sun Fire V20z dedicated to the Operating Systems course; nickelback, a Dell PowerEdge 1950 desktop virtualization server; dragonforce, a Dell PowerEdge R720 desktop virtualization server; styx, a Dell PowerEdge R400 desktop virtualization server.

CSE research groups occupy 6628 square feet of research lab space ranging from secure, monitored, temperature-controlled data centers to specialized experimental facilities. CSE instructional labs occupy 4096 square feet, each configured to serve the characteristic needs of the courses they host.

More than 270 Windows, MacOS and Linux PCs and thin client terminals are available across the multiple research, instructional and student labs. Each lab is equipped with printing/imaging (accessible remotely) and presentation equipment. Internet connectivity to all lab spaces is provided by 1 Gb/s Ethernet network connections to Cisco Catalyst gigabit layer 3 switches along with a 802.11 b/g/n wireless encrypted network. Various level 3 switches are all connected to the campus 10Gb/s fiber backbone.

CSE faculty, researchers and students also have access to compute labs administered by School of Engineering Node Services (SENS) and Computing and Information Technology (CIT).

Our four CSE conference rooms occupy 2075 square feet, all of which are equipped with presentation equipment and data terminals to enable research presentations.

Our four state of the art data centers occupy 2,173 square feet, all of which are environmentally conditioned and monitored 24/7. Power redundancy is handled both by an emergency generator located in the mechanical penthouse and 48 double-conversion Liebert GXT3 uninterruptable power supplies. Network connectivity to the data centers is provided by 11 Cisco Catalyst gigabit layer 3 switches. Various level 3 switches are all connected to the campus 10Gb/s fiber backbone. Each data center has incrementally increasing access levels ranging from student or research group access to authorized personnel only access.

Access to all CSE facilities is handled by a BASIS card access system which CSE has customized with automated update scripts and web forms to enable low management and administration overhead.

Both Windows and Linux based desktop virtualization infrastructures allow CSE faculty, researchers and students to connect to their hosted workspaces, applications and data from anywhere an internet connection is available. The University provides the Cisco Anyconnect virtual private network client so that off campus hosts can access resources securely.

Advanced web services and several application frameworks are provided to all CSE faculty, researchers and students on cheshire, a Dell Precision 530. MySQL and PostgreSQL database services are provided by tethys, a Dell Precision 530; Students also have access to the enterprise-wide Academic Oracle Service (AOS) and enterprise-wide compute and e-mail servers. Open source course management, submission and automated grading services are provided on web-cat, a virtual machine running on a Dell R900.

CSE provides networking and firewalling services with a model that seeks to balance researcher flexibility and the need to keep University and CSE services and networks safe, secure, and functional. This is accomplished with the use of:

  • Several sub-networks separated by router/firewall servers (Dell Poweredge SC1425s)
  • Automated network monitoring tools
  • Provision of network helper services such as:
    • Domain name services
    • Dynamic host control protocol services
    • Network time protocol services
    • Directory services
    • Trivial file transfer protocol services
    • Simple mail transfer protocol relays
    • File transfer protocol services

Our departmental systems are backed up using multiple Dell Power Edge SC1425s that communicate with UB’s enterprise-wide IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (ITSM), which backs up data to an IBM 3494 Tape Library and an off-site tape library, as well as to a locally-managed Sun L-180 LTO tape library and virtual machine provide point in time.

Center for Computational Research

For a description of UB's Center for Computational Research (CCR) facilities, see: