Services For Research Groups

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Here is a partial list of services available to research groups.

Web Site (Virtual Host)

The department can provide a URL for the group's website of the form The website can be hosted on an IP-based virtual host.

We can also install and support certain web applications on group websites.

Group Account

Research groups need an account that persists longer than those of graduate students and/or faculty members. This group account can be used to house the group's website content, demos, etc.

Network-Attached Storage

The department has disk space available on a Network Appliances file server, which offers numerous advantages from a manageability perspective:

  • Server will be setup and administered by the IT staff
  • Data is fully backed up and archived off-site
  • Data snapshots are made periodically; users can retrieve recent versions of files without intervention from the IT staff
  • Server is hosted in the server room with uninterruptible power supplies
  • System is fully redundant, and can continue working even if components fail
  • Additional storage capacity can be easily allocated as needed

Due to the ease of administering the Network Appliances file server, we strongly discourage researchers from using their workstations as NFS or SMB file servers. (Workstations are generic things. One should be able to throw one workstation out the window, replace it with another one, and have nobody panic. This is the "workstations-are-not-servers" philosophy.)

Version-Controlled Code Repository

We host code repositories using Subversion or Git version control systems, with optional Trac integration. To create a new repository, file a help request specifying:

  1. Your name and your supervisor's name
  2. The name of your project
  3. Whether you want a Subversion or Git repository
  4. Which users should have access to it (read-write or read-only)
  5. Whether you want a Trac interface
  6. The duration of your project, if applicable
  7. Whether you want it listed on

Print Server

Following the workstations-are-not-servers philosophy, we discourage the use of workstations in research labs as print servers. Research groups should purchase TCP/IP networkable printers. If necessary, the department can provide a print server for accepting print jobs to your network-aware printers.

IP Subnet + VLAN + DHCP

Members of a research group want their workstations to be part of the same logical work group. Also, they want to be able to move their workstations between their office and labs withouth needing to reconfigure their IP address.

To accomplish this:

  • Research groups will be allocated an IP Subnet (e.g.,
  • All the switches/routers in the department will be configured with a VLAN (Virtual LAN) tied to the research group's IP Subnet.
  • All members of the research group will have their workstations configured to be on the Group's IP Subnet, regardless of their workstation's physical location (MacLeod, CICSR, Brimacombe).
  • DHCP will be enabled within the IP Subnet. Members of the research group will be able to move their desktops and/or laptops between their offices and research labs without concern of IP address allocation.