Computers and Software

This page summarizes some of the computers and software programs that we use in our practice. We take great care to ensure that our systems are reliable, available and secure. To protect from lightening and power line disturbances all hardware is buffered from the mains by high quality Uniteruptable Power Supplies (UPS). To ensure integrity of data in the event of loss or theft we use Full-Disk-Encryption (FDE) on all machines. To ensure availability and protect from data loss, all user files are archived on a server utilizing a fault tolerant hardware RAID 6 disk array. We perform nightly automated backups of all user files. Certain critical files are also mirrored in real-time to secure "zero knowledge" cloud servers. All backup media is encrypted media and backup archives and disk snapshots are stored off site on a rotating schedule.

All of our systems run Xubuntu Linux as the host operating system. We run Microsoft Windows applications as "guest" operating systems using Virtual Machine software such as VMWare or Virtual Box. This approach allows us to continue to use legacy applications (e.g. instrument control) that only run under obsolete operating systems (e.g. Windows 2000/XP) without incurring unnecessary security risks.

For extreme computing tasks we use a GPU workstations outfitted with multiple nVidia Tesla and Quadro GPUs. Our current GPU workstation can produce in excess of 4 TeraFLOPs of throughput on CUDA enabled applications such as Remcom's XFdtd simulator. Using GPUs we can now run and complete simulations in a matter of minutes or hours that would take day or weeks on traditional CPU machines.

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Last updated March 25, 2015.