Computing Resources at the SSCC

The SSCC makes a tremendous amount of computing power available to its members. This article will help you find the computing resource that can do the job you need done.

Winstat

Winstat is SSCC's general purpose computing farm. It consists of 5 Windows Remote Desktop Servers that you can log into from any location to run a wide variety of statistical and other software with full access to the SSCC network.

The Winstat servers have 24 cores and 384 gigabytes of RAM. Each physical server runs three Winstats as virtual machines. To ensure high performance for everyone, we ask that on Winstat you run just one CPU-intensive program at a time, which can use up to 8 cores and 32 gigabytes of RAM.

Idle Winstat sessions (meaning no user input, even if jobs are running) are disconnected after two hours, all sessions are disconnected after twenty-four hours, and disconnected sessions are closed after three hours. If you need to run long jobs such that these limits would cause problems for you, contact the Help Desk.

For more information about Winstat, see Using Winstat.

Silo

Silo is a special computing environment for sensitive data, including data covered by HIPAA. It is actually split into two environments:

Silo LDS is appropriate for HIPAA "Limited Data Sets" and other data with similar security requirements. It includes WinLDS, a server farm very similar to Winstat consisting of 3 servers, each with 16 cores and 20 gigabytes of RAM. For more information, see Using the Silo LDS Environment.

Silo RD is appropriate for HIPAA "Protected Health Information" and restricted data sets with similar requirements. It includes WinRD, a server very similar to Winstat with 2 cores and 4 gigabytes of RAM, and LinRD, a server very similar to Linstat with 4 cores and 24 gigabytes of RAM. For more information, see Using the Silo RD Environment.

If need to use data that cannot be stored on any network, Data & Information Services Center (DISC) makes a Secure Computing Enclave available.

Linstat

Linstat is designed for researchers who need greater computing power. It consists of 4 servers running Linux (which many power users find more convenient for big computing projects) with 36 cores, 384 gigabytes of RAM, and 400 gigabytes of local temporary disk space. The Linstat servers have the most popular statistical software installed plus the usual Linux utilities and compilers.

To ensure high performance for everyone, we ask that you run just one CPU-intensive program at a time on each Linstat server (though it is welcome to use multiple cores). Jobs run "in the background" on Linstat will continue running after you log out, for days or weeks if necessary.

For more information about using Linstat, see Using Linstat.

HTCondor

HTCondor is a tool for running large numbers of jobs. When you submit a job to HTCondor, HTCondor can send it to any server in its "flock." SSCC's HTCondor flock has eight dedicated Linux servers, and the Linstat servers run jobs submitted to HTCondor as well. Four of these servers have 16 cores, 320 gigabytes of RAM, and 350 gigabytes of local disk space, while the others have 8 cores, 24-48 gigabytes of RAM, and 200 gigabytes of local temporary disk space.

You are always welcome to submit up to fifteen jobs at a time to HTCondor, and sometimes more depending on how many servers are available (see the SSCC's Server Usage Policy).

For more information about Condor, see An Introduction to Condor. You can also submit Stata jobs to Condor from the web.

Flash

SSCC's High Performance Computing Cluster, Flash, is designed for parallel computing. It is ideal for jobs that can be broken up into many pieces that are executed simultaneously. Most jobs run on Flash are written in FORTRAN and use MPI to handle the parallelization.

For more information about Flash, see Using the SSCC's High Performance Computing Cluster.

Lab PCs

The SSCC's computer labs, rooms 4218 and 3218 in the Sewell Social Sciences Building, have more than 50 PCs with most of the software installed on Winstat. They also have client programs installed for accessing all the SSCC servers. This makes the labs an excellent place to do research. We also have a Mobile Lab consisting of 42 laptops with the same software which can be used in any classroom in the Sewell Social Sciences Building.

For more information about the SSCC's computer labs, see SSCC Computer Labs and Information for SSCC Instructional Lab Users.

Last Revised: 9/17/2018