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Research Computing Support Available from ITS

Information Technology Services (ITS) offers research computing support and training, and provides recommendations for software packages and computing platforms for use in the research or creative process. ITS staff are available to work closely with you at the beginning of your project or grant-writing process to help evaluate your research technology needs and recommend solutions that not only meet your specific needs, but are compatible with the technology services offered at UNCG.

Some services have costs associated with them, but many ITS services are provided at no charge. Working directly with ITS staff early in your research planning process will allow you to both account for service costs where necessary, and avoid paying for extra or duplicative services that may be available free of charge.

Services available range from simple consulting for your hardware and software purchases, to sever hosting and other infrastructure solutions that enable you to stay focused on your research, not on solving technology problems. In cases where ITS does not offer specific services, we may be able to provide referrals to other campus offices or third-party resources providing a service.

ITS also offers instructor-led workshops and/or online training and tutorials for supported research and instructional products. For information regarding training opportunities and a link to the current training schedule, see: Information Technology Training Opportunities on Campus. If the training you need is not listed, ITS may be able to provide referrals to other resources.

For more information or assistance, please contact 6-TECH at (336) 256-TECH (8324) or 6-TECH@uncg.edu.

Internet2 Day photo
Feb. 17th, 2012 - Dr. Dennis Askew, UNCG tuba professor, provides remote master class instruction to Northern Illinois University student Kurt Bonamer during UNCG's Internet2 Day.

Internet2 Day Demonstration

In February, 2012, UNCG ITS and the Office of Research & Economic Development Hosted an "Internet2 Day" at UNCG to showcase the benefits that the advanced network consortium offers to UNCG faculty, staff and students. The day included demonstrations of instructional and research use of advanced network technology, including a live demonstration of remote musical instruction over Internet2, as well as remote microscopy and telescopy demonstrations.

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For the musical demonstration, UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance tuba professor Dennis Askew provided remote master class instruction to Northern Illinois University School of Music tuba student Kurt Bonamer, using Digital Video Transport Systems (DVTS) software. Though physically over 600 miles apart, Internet2 high speed network connectivity made this remote musical interaction possible. Read more about this demonstration in the Chancellor's Report: 2011-2012 Milestones.

Internet2 enables an impressive array of research and instructional collaborations across the US and internationally. For more information regarding UNCG's Internet2 Day, see the event agenda (PDF: requires a reader such as Adobe Reader). To learn more about how Internet2 may be useful for your specific research or instructional needs, contact 6-TECH at 256-8324 or 6-TECH@uncg.edu to schedule a consultation.

Consulting and Support

ITS collaborates with researchers across campus to provide recommendations, training/learning resources, and support for use of technology in research and creative activities. Involving ITS early in grant writing and other research planning activities will help you identify and plan for the technology resources you need. This can save time and money for your project overall. All requests for consulting and research support should be directed through 6-TECH at (336) 256-TECH (8324) or 6-TECH@uncg.edu.

Research Software

ITS makes available a broad selection of software useful for research. Some software is delivered over the UNCG network and other software is vendor-hosted for UNCG use (e.g., the Qualtrics web survey creation tool). For more information regarding available software, see: Research Software.

ITS also provides training for the most commonly used research software packages. For more information regarding available training, see the Information Technology Training Opportunities on Campus.

Research Computing Platforms

Many researchers find the computing power of their desktop/laptop computers sufficient to meet their research computing needs. For those who need an alternative platform, the Instructional Linux Environment (ILE) is one option. ILE is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment accessible via "linux.uncg.edu" using an SSH client such as PuTTY. For ILE software, see Linux Software @ UNCG.

Those who need more computing power, such as a high performance/parallel computing environment, may opt to use the Henry 2 Linux Cluster. This resource is available to the UNCG community through a partnership with NSCU. Continue reading for more information!

High Performance Computing Support and Training

To better support the research mission of UNCG, ITS has entered into a partnership with NC State University to provide technical support and training for High Performance Computing (HPC). This partnership provides UNCG faculty, staff, and students with access to the HPC Linux cluster "Henry 2" with approximately 1,000 compute nodes and a variety software packages. To learn more about this service, visit the High Performance Computing Support web page.

Data Storage

Research projects often require disk storage beyond the default allocated to individuals and departments at the University. As data requirements grow in all disciplines, it is not unusual to encounter research projects that consume terabytes of data. Data security concerns have also increased. Funding agency requirements for data protection have become more stringent, while hackers continue to pose more sophisticated threats to data security.

ITS provides networked storage services designed to meet researchers’ needs. To understand the benefits of ITS-provided network storage, see: Data Storage Services.

Research data storage associated with grant-funded projects can be purchased at a reduced annual cost per GB or TB. Annual costs for services can be pre-paid concurrent with grant funding cycles. For more details on costs of Data Storage Services, see: Network Services Fees.

Server and Database Hosting (Managed Hosting Service)

Many specialized software applications need to run on a server. Some of these also require a dedicated database. Installing and operating servers can be expensive and frustrating without dedicated technical staff and facilities. As a solution for these types of applications, ITS offers a "Managed Hosting Service."

For all application/database needs that cannot be met with a "desktop" computer, ITS recommends you first consult with us to determine whether your software can run on one of UNCG’s existing research platforms. If a separate server is needed, then a "virtual server" obtained through our hosting services can provide a more easily maintained and cost-effective solution that a stand-alone physical server. For more information on the benefits of this service, see: Managed Infrastructure Services.

Basic services can be obtained for a nominal annual cost. Annual costs for services can be pre-paid concurrent with grant funding cycles. For more details on costs of Managed Infrastructure Services, see: Network Services Fees.

For more information regarding application hosting on virtual servers, see: Application Hosting on the Network Services Fees web page.

Web Hosting/Development Services

If your research project has web-publishing related needs, ITS offers a variety of solutions for developing, publishing and maintaining websites. Some technologies are more suited to publishing static information and others to implementing dynamic and interactive web solutions. Many of these services are free, while some have associated costs. ITS staff are available to discuss the possibilities, recommendations and potential costs for your project-specific needs.

Examples of services include interactive web applications such as blogging tools, streaming audio & video and other multi-media solutions, web-based surveys, and providing web platforms on which your research project may develop and run customized web software.

For more details on Web Hosting Services, see: Web Development Support.

Computer Hardware Purchases

To obtain full support and maintain compatibility with the University computing environment, all desktop/laptop hardware purchases should be made through the Campus-wide Hardware Procurement (CHP) program. For more information, see: Campus-wide Hardware Procurement Program.

If CHP standard computer models do not meet your research needs, please consult with ITS regarding the possibility of obtaining discount pricing on suitable alternatives.

High Speed Networking Services

Researchers in all fields of study at UNCG have access to the university's high-capacity, highly-available Gigabit Ethernet network. UNCG is connected to the Internet2 research and education network, peer institutions and the commodity Internet through the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) infrastructure. To learn more about this service, see: High Speed Networking Services.

Musical Performance
UNCG violinist Marjorie Bagley, joined by cellist Cheng-Hou Lee of Northern Illinois University, performing together via video screen projection over high speed Internet2 Network.

Remote Simultaneous Musical Performance over High Speed Internet2 Network

A UNCG faculty member took center stage for a recent performance at the Fall 2012 Internet2 Member Meeting in Philadelphia. The performance demonstrated how the use of LOLA (Low Latency audio/video) technology over the high speed Internet2 Network allows musicians to perform together, in real-time, while they are hundreds of miles apart.

See a video of the performance.