Computer Services Recharge Center Information

From CS Support Wiki
Revision as of 16:46, 31 March 2014 by Kcg2m (Talk | contribs) (Overview)

Jump to: navigation, search


Our faculty, staff, postdocs, affiliated researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students require a highly sophisticated computing environment and level of technical support. Through the Computer Services Recharge Center, we provide the required technical staff to provide these critical services.

This Recharge Center is reviewed by the University periodically to ensure it is in compliance with all applicable federal and state regulations, including OMB Circulars A-21 and A-110, as well as applicable University policy. Rates are adjusted annually to ensure that the Recharge Center is operating on a strict cost recovery basis. The current rate is $600.06 per Full Time Equivalent (FTE) per month. Rates apply to each user and are charged based upon each person's salary distribution, e.g., if a person works 50% on one project and 50% on another during the month, each project pays 50% of the fee for that month. All employees and students are assessed the same rate without regard to their salary source (federal, state, foundation, commercial). No additional fees are charged and all services included within the Recharge Center are available to all users.

General Computing Environment

The department's computing environment includes over 1000 computers, ranging from older systems used for isolated small projects to state-of-the-art workstations and clusters for graphics- and compute-intensive research. Departmental servers provide compute service, disk space, email, SVN (version control software), web service, database services, backups, and many other services. All systems are integrated by means of high-speed networks, described below, and are supported by a highly skilled technical staff who provide a consistent computing environment throughout the department. Each student is assigned a computer, with computer assignments based on the students' research or teaching assignments and their seniority within the department. In addition to the departmental servers and office systems, our research laboratories contain a variety of specialized equipment and facilities.

Departmental computing systems include around 750 Dell computers, 140 Lenovos, 130 IBMs, 12 Suns, 110 Macs, plus about 70 other computers.

Our systems primarily run the Windows 7 and Ubuntu operating systems, with a smaller number of systems, including many of the servers, running Solaris and FreeBSD. We use the NFS and CIFS file systems (ZFS and EXT4FS backing) for central file storage. Languages most commonly used include J++, C++, and Java. Document preparation is usually accomplished with standard applications on PC systems. Our extensive software holdings are continually evolving.

The department's computer systems are connected to one another by a high-speed data network. The network provides switched 100 megabit connections to every desktop, plus fiber, video, and multiple voice and data connections in each office. Special purpose systems and switches, as well as a number of our workstations, use gigabit connections. The campus Internet II connection is in Sitterson Hall and provides even higher speeds for applications that require it.

Services Provided by the CSRC

The Computer Science Department's Computer Services Recharge Center provides a wide variety of services for its users. Most of these services are either unavailable from ITS or only available on a fee for service basis. Even when services are available from ITS, the CSRC provides a substantially greater level of service and customization to meet the department's specialized research and education needs. Examples of services that go far beyond what is available to other campus employees are given below.

7X24 emergency support

CSRC personnel share an emergency pager and are available to handle emergencies around the clock. This may entail bringing core services and critical systems up after power outages, handling water leaks or HVAC outages, troubleshooting server problems, or responding to literally any issue that our users consider an emergency.

On-site Dell and Macintosh hardware support

Our staff coordinates wth Dell and Apple (along with other vendors) to provide on-site warranty service on Dell and Macintosh computers as well as service once the warranty runs out.

Special event support

When the department's faculty host conferences on campus, CSRC staff provide on-site technical support. This includes support for attendees connection to the our wireless network, A/V support, recording of talks, teleconferencing support, and assistance with any other conference needs.


The CSRC staff provide user data backups for departmental server systems.

A/V support

CSRC staff provide support for Rice Hall conference room AV systems as well custom installation and maintenance for video projectors in faculty offices and research spaces.

Telephone service

The department has its own telephone switch, supported by CSRC personnel. All faculty and staff have department provided voice mail and telephones in their offices, and we also have telephones in all labs, conference rooms, and classrooms. When a user changes offices, CSRC moves the telephone number from the old office to the new, so no one's number ever changes.

Detailed list of services

   Operating system support (Windows/Linux/Mac)
       installation (standard dept. images with software)
   Application support (standard and additional applications)
   Computer and peripheral configuration and ordering
   Computer security
       intrusion prevention
   Email service
       SMTP (mail forwarding,, mail lists)
       IMAP (mail storage)
   Web services
       department web servers
       CGI server
       class web services
       custom administrative web pages
   Databases (MySQL)
       administrative systems – development and support
       user databases on central DB server
   CVS, Subversion, and Git version control systems
   Other central software services
       Disk service (CIFS, NFS)
       Software update service
       Antivirus control service
       Software distribution (Windows, Mac)
       Domain controllers (Windows)
       DNS, DHCP, NIS, LDAP, time
       Compute and login service (Linux & Solaris)
       SIS & ISP client-side support
   User accounts and disk space
   Software licensing
   help web pages
       standard production network
       specialized research setups
       voice connections
       voice mail
   Projector installation and maintenance
   Graphics hardware support
   Computer hardware maintenance (Windows/Linux/Mac)
       initial setup
       warranty and post-warranty repair
       black and white
       high quality color
       lesser quality color
       large format color (plotter)
   Copiers and scanners
   Equipment moves
   Building security
       access control
   Electrical, HVAC, plumbing
   Special event support
   Emergency support
   Interface with campus support group, ITS


1. Faculty and Staff

2. Graduate Students

3. Undergraduate Students

4. Alumni and Retired Faculty/Staff

5. Collaborative Researchers/Visiting Faculty or Scholars/Faculty on Leave/Other Guests