I have some updates to share with you regarding new developments at the Institute for CyberScience. Chief among them is the introduction of the Institute for CyberScience Advanced CyberInfrastructure or ICS-ACI. While we will continue to service and improve our existing systems, such as the Lion-X clusters, we have acquired 4,800 standard-memory and 960 high-memory cores of compute power and have begun onboarding faculty and students to our new systems.
New Services and Options
We are providing multiple access models for researchers, designed for maximum flexibility, including our Guaranteed-Response Time or GReaT subscription service, our Explore service for short-term exploratory research needs, and our “Try ICS-ACI” model, which provides up to thirty days of access free of charge, giving potential users an opportunity to try out the environment, and additional services for high throughput storage. There will also be Open access available to our researchers that leverages excess system capacities. These new services for research are being provided at highly subsidized costs and with a waiver on F&A through the generous support of Provost Jones.
Our goal is to provide a superior service to Penn State researchers in regard to access to advanced computing and data services. Information and resources will be available at: https://ics.psu.edu/advanced-cyberinfrastructure; and we will host town hall meetings in the fall.
Security and New Accounts
With these updates, we have had to make some changes to comply with the University’s increased security demands, and I want to explain how this might affect your faculty and students.
In light of recent events regarding cybersecurity outlined by President Barron (click here for details), we are taking steps to ensure the security of our users’ and the University’s information online. Effective August 17, 2015, our computing systems including the Lion-X clusters, CyberSTAR, BioSTAR and the new ICS-ACI will require the University’s two-factor authentication (2FA) to log in.
As a result, we will be asking everyone who accesses our systems to acquire a new ICS account and sign up for the University’s two-factor authentication. External-to-Penn-State collaborators will need to acquire a PSU “Slim” access account before signing up for two-factor authentication, since 2FA does not work with Friends of Penn State (FPS) accounts.
We have dedicated a section of our website to provide instructions for account sign ups (https://ics.psu.edu/advanced-cyberinfrastructure/accounts/) and we have been sending out announcements and reminders to begin the process. The changes we need to make should not be disruptive, but the process takes time, and users should begin immediately to ensure uninterrupted service after the outage from August 14th to 17th.
Your Support is Needed
Here is where I need your help. Although we are carefully overseeing the roll out process and our staff are in an elevated response mode, all account sign ups may not go flawlessly and some users will likely not begin the process in time to be ready for the launch of the new systems on August 17th. I’m asking that you keep us informed of any problems with this process that come to your attention by emailing our i-ASK Center (email@example.com) so that we can address the issue in a timely manner.
Thank you in advance for your support and your patience throughout this period of transition for ICS. I would also like to use this opportunity to thank our ICS staff for their hard work in providing uninterrupted services while re-engineering aging systems and developing the new systems and services. I also want to thank the ICS Coordinating Committee for their oversight and engagement in determining the specifications of the new services.
Help us build the future. Contact ICS at Penn State.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone: ICS-ACI Support (i-ASK Center): 814-865-4275 | General Inquiries: 814-867-1467
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