Research Computing in the College of Engineering
Information for new research labs
Below is information to help new research labs get set up with computing resources.
Network and phone service
The Network Systems Engineering Group ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) maintains wired and wireless network access. See the instructions at http://www.bu.edu/tech/accounts/wireless/ to use the wireless access points. There are also wired ethernet quads (panels containing 4 ports each) in the walls of your lab. Normally, these quads have one active network port, but you can activate more by emailing email@example.com and providing them with the number written on the quad, and the orientation (lower left, for example) of the port you wish to activate. Please check all of the ports in your lab to see if some are already active before emailing to activate new ones, because there is normally a fee for new activations. To activate a port in your quad for telephone service, please see http://www.bu.edu/tech/comm/phone/
Your personal web page, lab web page, and wiki page are all hosted on University IS&T servers. Go to http://www.bu.edu/tech/web or http://www.bu.edu/tech/comm/collaboration-sites/wiki and follow the instructions to set up these services.
Boston University has a site license for Windows OS and Microsoft Office, which allows you to install it on any University-owned machine and also for full-time faculty and staff to use Office at home. See http://www.bu.edu/tech/desktop/site-licensed-software/microsoft . For Linux OS, we maintain our own free distribution of CentOS/RHEL at http://www.bu.edu/tech/infrastructure/servers/bulinux . McAffee VirusScan is also available for free with our University license, at http://www.bu.edu/tech/desktop/virus-protection-security .
The College and the University own certain commercial software licenses that you may be able to use. Browse the offerings at http://collaborate.bu.edu/engit/SoftwareLicensing and http://www.bu.edu/tech/desktop/site-licensed-software , and also take a look at the University-discounted software available for purchase at http://www.bu.edu/tech/desktop/purchase/personal/sales . If you wish to obtain licenses for any software that is not listed on these sites, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org -- we may already maintain a pool of private licenses that you can buy into. Take a look at the \\ad\eng\support\software fileshare (see step "b" above) for media that we may already have some licenses for.
Please send an email to email@example.com for help installing any of this software. Particularly, we can do Windows OS installations and reinstallations quickly and easily over the network.
File storage space
a) If you don't already have one, apply for an AD account by going to http://www.bu.edu/computing/accounts/ad/engv and if you get an error message about not being in "the database", email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will manually pre-approve your request so that the registration will go through the next time you try it. Also, tell us when some good times are for someone from our office to visit you to join the Windows computers in your lab to the college's AD domain.
b) Then let us know the name of your lab or center, and we can make a fileshare for it on the Network Appliance fileserver maintained by the College. It will be at the location \\ad\eng\research\eng_research_yourlabname (or /ad/eng/research/eng_research_yourlabname under Linux) Follow the instructions at http://collaborate.bu.edu/engit/MountingENGNAS to get to your own home directory or your lab directory.
c) To add and remove other people from your lab directory (as well as to give them administrative permissions to computers in your lab), we will create a couple of "security groups" which we will add your lab users to. Send us a list of the AD/Kerberos login names of whoever is should be in the "admins" group as well as whoever should be in the "users" group.
d) You can use these groups to set levels of access on various folders within your /ad/eng/research fileshare, following the instructions at http://collaborate.bu.edu/engit/AdPermissions .
e) You can also change the membership of these groups, but you will need a separate login account called "loginname-adm" to do so. If you don't anticipate modifying groups often, you can ignore steps e through g. If you do, please read on. Once you tell us your labname, we will apply for this account for you and set it to have control of only your lab group. You will receive an email instructing you on how to log into the account with a temporary password. When you first log in, the account will immediately have you change the password. Please do this as soon as you receive the email -- if you do not do this within 24 hours of receiving the email, the temporary password will expire and we will have to have it re-set for you.
f) Once you have the "loginname-adm" account, install the Administrative Tools on your own Windows computer, from \\ad\eng\support\software\windows\i386\microsoft\AdminPAK
g) Now you can log into your computer with your loginname-adm account and can follow these instructions to change the membership of your lab groups (http://collaborate.bu.edu/engit/AdGroup), or add a new computer in your lab to the AD Domain (http://collaborate.bu.edu/engit/ADDomain) and move it into your lab group's unit (http://collaborate.bu.edu/engit/AddComputer).
High-performance computing resources
The ENG-Grid is a flexible HPC resource that allows you to use your regular AD account and filespace, and to join your own Linux machines to the grid for private queues and highest-priority queue control if you wish. Follow the instructions at http://collaborate.bu.edu/engit/Grid/GridInstructions . You can install any software you want into your own /mnt/nokrb/loginname directory, or we can give you an /ad/eng/support/software directory to put it into for more widespread access by your whole lab.
Additional cluster resources are also available from University IS&T. See http://scv.bu.edu