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Research IT Computing and Storage Solutions

Computation, and data storage was identified as an area that needs immediate attention for development of a sustainable solution. Researchers acquire source data, derives subsets of those data, manipulate and share data. All research data needs a safe, secure, reliable, affordable, and accessible location to reside.

A faculty and staff focus group, with vested interest in storage IT, has been assembled to evaluate the need, assess the current state of, determine the potential economies of scale, and make recommendations on research data storage, backup, and movement across key locations on campus through high-throughput research networks.

Current Campus Offerings

Current storage options available to the campus are:

VUIT Offerings for Researchers

VUIT has many storage offerings for reachers, including Box, Sharepoint, and OneDrive. The quickest and easiest to access for low-level storage needs, while also satisfying criteria for sensitive data, is Vanderbilt Box.  Vanderbilt Box is free for Vanderbilt users, and allows up to 100GB of storage with more available upon request.  Vanderbilt Box also offers the ability for researchers to collaborate and create shared folders and projects, while also giving them the ability to share with external collaborators.

VUIT has an enterprise account with Amazon Web Services.  Using the enterprise account provided by VUIT has many advantages: secure access between ACCRE, DORS, and AWS, automated tools at watch services to prevent account overages, start/stop management of processes in order to save time/money, enterprise level support model with Amazon, and consultative support with VUIT.

Database hosting for MySQL is available through VUIT, but there are also cloud hosted database options available at varying costs through multiple providers (IBM, Microsoft Azure, Oracle, AWS).  There are many cloud computing options with a wide array of services available commercially from services such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle, or IBM, to name a few.  These companies offer software, platforms, and infra-structure as a service.  These solutions allow for customization to research projects at a reasonable cost.

To learn more about the VUIT Co-location Service, contact your Customer Relationship Manager.

ACCRE Storage

The Vanderbilt Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education offers several High-Performance Computation and Storage solutions that covers many of the Research IT needs on campus.

The Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education (ACCRE) is also available to the campus community for a fee. ACCRE is meant to bring high level, secure storage to the campus community with several pricing options.  The cost is $150/TB/yr for storage with no backup, and $204/TB/yr with nightly backup.  ACCRE storage is accessed only through the cluster.  Support for mounting to local machines is generally not recommended.  ACCRE is generally not recommended for sharing of small to medium sized data sets with external collaborators and is not set up to be secure for FERPA, HIPAA, or ePHI data.

Distributed Online Research Storage (DORS), hosted by ACCRE, can also provide high-levels of storage to researchers on campus for a fee.  For example, DORS is available for $204/TB/yr and is backed up nightly.  DORS is also available for both desktop access as well as ACCRE cluster access.  This is good for researchers that need centralized storage with high-speed campus-wide accessibility to and from ACCRE.  DORS is generally not recommended for sharing of small to medium sized data sets with external collaborators and is not set up to be secure for FERPA, HIPAA, or ePHI data.

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