IOD Computational Infrastructure Recharge FAQ
From IOD SysWiki
What services are covered under the Recharge Facility?
The following services and software will be part of the recharge facility benefits. The cost of the software licenses and renewal will be covered so you don't have to worry about updates and upgrades.
- Desktop Computer Support including Security Management
- Compliance with UCSD Minimum Network Security Standards
- Network configuration and management
- OS and Application patching
- Hardware and Troubleshooting consultation
- Access to Shared Printers (supplies included)
- Data Storage and Backup
- 25GB per User for Email, Web, Desktop/Laptop backups
- All Servers backed-up nightly to secure, offsite location
- Coast/IOD Email Address
- Individual and Research Group Website Hosting
- Individual and Research Group Calendar & Collaboration Hosting
- Access to Reference Operating Systems and Application Software
- MS Windows XP, RedHat Linux, Mac OSX
- MS Office (Mac, Windows), Adobe Creative Suite (w/Acrobat Pro)
- Matlab Campus Concurrent Site License
What additional services are available as part of my membership?
- *** These services are not included in your monthly fees, but in addition to those fees. ***
- Hardware Server Hosting
- We host your machine in our server room
- Full Systems Administration
- Data Backup
- Cost = ~$250/Server/Month + data storage/backup fees (see next)
- Data Storage
- Backed up nightly to off-site facility
- Available for desktop mounting using AFP, SMB, and NFS protocols
- Data & Information Management
- Recharge Rates TBD
Again, these services will only be available to individuals and groups participating in the Recharge program.
What actions do I need to take starting 1 July 2007 if I choose not to participate?
- Move email to UCSD server or other email service provider (such as Google or Yahoo! mail)
- Move data to another storage server
- Move website to another hosting server, Such as the SIO web facility, or an off-campus host.
- Arrange for backup services for desktop and data disks
- Purchase new b&w and (if needed) color printers, arrange setup,networking and maintenance
- Purchase supplies for printers, e.g. paper, cartridges, etc.
- Arrange for security patching and mandatory security procedures mandated by the UCSD Minimum Network Security Standards.
- Arrange alternate access for software packages, e.g, Matlab (the UCSD Concurrent Site license will only be available to those participating in the Recharge facility. Purchase of a Standalone license is recommended).
- Identify a source for desktop support (e.g., <http://desktop.ucsd.edu>) services, including (but not limited to):
- reconnecting computers after they have been taken off-line due to non-compliance of the UCSD Security Standards.
- Maintaining Security Patch and update levels
- Configuring Mail Clients
Can Jerry or Nate help me with these transitions?
Jerry and Nate will be very busy setting up the new system. During the transition period, they MAY be able to advise on where to get some of these services, but that is on an as-available basis, so PI groups should not rely on this as they make transition plans. Mick Laver's office is set up to provide minimal networking set up, so it is not likely that his group will be able to provide the services necessary for this transition.
If I subscribe, what exactly am I committing to?
For the program to be viable, we need a critical mass, and need to rely on that support for a specific period. In general, we need to plan on an annual basis, so our expectation is folks would make a year-to-year commitment. Having said that, we want to emphasize that we are here to work with you. If there are extenuating circumstances, we can modify your commitment as necessary. Again, we view this as an opportunity to provide a critical and necessary service to our PIs. We want you to be happy, and will work with you to make that happen. Unlike most other divisions, we have not made this mandatory.
If I don't commit now, can I join later?
We need to budget, staff, and plan on an annual basis, so it will be a challenge to allow new subscribers into the system after the initial launch. Our goal is to work with you to meet your needs, but it will be difficult or impossible to accommodate folks who do not subscribe in the initial period. But, again, if there are extenuating circumstances, please contact us to discuss what might be possible.
I pay overhead so doesn't that cover this cost?
Unfortunately none of our overhead dollars come back to us for this type of support. IOD has used reserve funds to cover the computer support costs during this interim/transition phase, but those funds will soon be exhausted. Implementing this new program is the only way we can continue to have the high level of computer support we've come to rely on. Our funding agencies do have a record of supporting these costs, and the other departments who have already implemented computer recharge operations report that funding agencies regularly approve such budget requests.
How much will the program cost?
Exact costs are unknown until we have a final head count. Other units at SIO and UCSD have implemented similar systems and costs/methodologies vary significantly. Our research indicates that a head count approach is the most equitable, and so we anticipate the program will be structured on a per person basis, prorated each month on the projects they support. We believe our costs will be on the low end of the already established rates, in the $175-$350/month per person range. By definition, the recharge centers are break-even organizations, so the costs we collect will be enough to cover our operating costs, no more and no less. If more people subscribe, the cost will be lower.
Do I have enough money to pay for this?
You probably do, and also probably have the ability to rebudget existing contract or grant funds to cover this. Minerva can advise you on specifics. We are happy to answer individual questions about this, based on your existing and anticipated awards.
I really don't think I can afford this.
We urge you to think about whether you can afford NOT to do this. Consider how much you may use the common printers and how much time and effort it might take to replicate that functionality in your individual labs, including acquisition cost, set up, networking, and maintenance. Consider what you would do if your computer systems go down, and there is no one to help you or your staff. We understand there is a campus on-call computer service, but response time is often 1-3 days. It could cost even more in lost time than the cost of subscribing to the service. Or, if your computers don't comply with the UCSD security standards, they will be removed from the net (by central campus) and render you inoperable. Consider the cost of lost data if your backup systems are not functional. Again, we are setting up a revenue-neutral system, using experienced personnel, and charging only what it costs us to operate. Your valuable time is probably better spent on other activities.
You've been including this cost in our recent proposals?
Yes, for those folks who have submitted proposals recently, we've advised the PI that this cost is included in the budgets Ann and Jen have prepared. Since we don't have established rates, we're using a rate from an already established facility, recognizing that their rate is higher than the one we anticipate using. As with all proposals, the budget is an estimate of what we anticipate the final cost to be, and if your proposal is funded, you will be charged the actual recharge rate in effect at the time. We used this approach so we could get some costs into your budgets now, instead of waiting until the rates were established and approved.
If I agree to include the cost in my proposal, can I decide later not to participate?
Yes, you can include the costs in your proposals and decide later not to participate. See above for more details about what minimum commitment we need.
I'm paid on Institutional funds, e.g. 19900. Where can I charge the fees?
You can charge it to your contracts and grants, just as you do other research-related costs. You'll be asked to designate what projects benefited from your effort so we can match that to the charges. If you prefer, discretionary or banked funds can also be used.
How does the headcount charge work?
Subscription will be by PI group and must include the entire group. In most cases this means that anyone supervised, directly or indirectly, by the PI will be included in the subscription. This allows the costs to be charged appropriately and equitably based on the support received, even when a subscribing employee works temporarily for a non-subscribing PI.
Can I just pay for services on an as-needed basis?
Once we initiate the recharge, the support group will legally be able to help only the subscribers. Subscribing PI groups will have access to special/extra services on an hourly basis. Non-subscribing groups will have to find alternate support.
I don't need all the services you offer, can I get a lower rate?
In order to keep the costs as low as possible, it is impractical to create individual rates for individual services. Some will use some services more than others, but a headcount/subscription approach is most efficient (and therefore cost-effective).
Can I still hire a programmer for specific scientific projects?
Yes, we intend to build in a special programming rate for our staff programmers. These folks cannot be hired to do systems administration outside of the system, so can only be used for special programming functions. Their hourly rate will be incorporated into the support program and will now include an infrastructure element, e.g, the of their equipment, software, and the cost to manage and supervise these employees.