MCECS Computing Facilities Overview
The College provides a variety of computer labs for students with supported desktops consisting of Linux (Ubuntu and Redhat) and Windows 10. Some labs are available college-wide. Others are departmental. A large complement of software is available including various products from Autocad, Matlab, Maple, Mathcad, Solidworks, Mentor, Synopsis, Cadence, among many others. Software development is enabled by a large collection of popular open source tools as well as Microsoft Visual Studio. The college provides various Microsoft development products to students for personal use through the Microsoft Azure for Education Dev Tools program. Color and black and white printers are available to all users. Some Windows and Linux based servers are available for remote access.
For supported platforms, faculty and researchers may use college-provided system loads on their desktop computers with tiers denoting the level of control/flexibility. This enables centrally managed patching and software updates. The Linux support team can also deliver supported environments for dedicated computing servers and stoprage. Depending on needs, virtualized servers may also be provided for research and other projects.
Support is provided for web services (Apache/php), databases (MySQL, Postgres), software revision control and project management (gitlab/git).
File and storage servers provide all users with a fixed allotment of storage for Windows and Linux. However, flexible storage extensions are available for users working on projects (at both the graduate and undergraduate level). Home directories and many project spaces are backed up daily. Archival backups are performed at the end of each term. Researchers may add dedicated storage to these central servers and negotiate backup services.
The College also runs its own networking infrastructure, providing gigabit ethernet to many locations, 10G connectivity among many central servers and high-speed access to the rest of campus and to the outside world. Internet2 and other research network access is provided via close network proximity to a Gigapop in addition to redundant commodity internet connectivity. Researchers have a flexible array of network filtering available for their computing projects – from rigidly locked down to wide-open. The college works cooperatively with central camps computing to provide authenticated wifi access to all its spaces.
All the central servers for the College are housed in a climate-controlled, UPS-backed up data center. The two primary buildings that house the college and data center, the Fourth Avenue Building and the Engineering Building, have dual redundant power feeds from the city as well as a large generator to run the building should both feeds fail.