The SCSC is ready to assist you in writing up grant applications. Besides providing you with price-quotes, we can pull data from the DSCR monitoring tools to help justify your need for additional compute or disk resources, or we can help you instrument your code to help justify a need for special-purpose compute or disk resources (fast CPU, larger memory, fast disk, etc.). For equipment that you expect to place in the DSCR, please contact us for a formal price-quote, and to ensure that we have adequate power and cooling for your machines. For equipment destined for other machine rooms, we can provide RPMs and OS installation expertise if needed.
(17 August 2011) The current "sweet spot" for machines seems to be dual-CPU, six-core at around 2.5GHz. We are currently purchasing "blade-based" systems which provide a 1Gbps network connection to each machine, and 10Gbps of shared bandwidth on the trunk to the main DSCR switch. Amortizing the cost of the chassis and network, such a machine is $5000-8000 for smaller/larger amounts of memory (48GB to 144GB are standard sizes, 196GB is available). For users who need large memory, we have vendors who are able to provide 32-CPU-core systems with up to 1TB of shared memory; for users who need faster network connectivity, we can look at 10Gbps or Infiniband connections inside a chassis. For equipment that you expect to place in the DSCR, please contact us for a formal price-quote, and to ensure that we have adequate power and cooling for your machines.
For grants which are interested in energy saving equipment, the blade-based systems we are purchasing consume 30-40% less power than comparable 1U ("pizza box") servers that we used to purchase.
Here are some sample documents for inclusion in grant applications:
- Grant Writeup – higher-level wording, not very specific
- For information on NSF's Data Management Plan requirements, see the Library's new site: http://library.duke.edu/data/guides/data-management/index.html
- EquipmentJustification – a bit more detailed
- back-of-the-envelope calculations for machines that are not to be housed in the DSCR
If your grant has a significant outreach component, you may want to contact us about opportunities with Shodor Foundation – a Durham-based computational science educational institute. They have well-established summer internship programs and may be willing to partner with you.
For more assistance, email us at scsc at duke.edu