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AgriLife Research Cloud Service Center

Focus on your core research activities

not your technology

AgriLife Research Cloud (ARC) offers AgriLife Researchers with advanced IT management of hardware, application, training, and support necessary to utilize computational and computing technology in all areas of research. ARC offers advanced IT management to all researchers in a cost recovery yearly subscription. ARC offers advanced systems with the computational performance necessary to handle a wide range of workloads, and a variety of advanced scientific software applications & tools. ARC’s expertise, consultation services, technical, and compliance activities are essential for facilitating the research mission of AgriLife.

Background of ARC

As Executive Leadership works to create organizational and operational efficiencies, the support of researchers’ unique and highly specialized information technology needs is key to the continued success of the research mission within AgriLife. In 2019, a Technology Recommendation Committee was formed to create a roadmap to Executive Leadership on how to best address the major problems of Research IT (Information Technology). From this recommendation, it was found that the best way to serve researchers’ IT needs was to form a service center that offers advanced IT Management Services.

This service center would build partnerships with researchers in the pursuit of creating an effective, efficient, and secure research IT environment.

In 2021, AgriLife Information Technology created the AgriLife Research Cloud, or ARC, service center.

Our mission is to offer researchers within AgriLife the technology, tools, and advanced management services that allow you to focus on your research, and not on the management of your information technology resources.

ARC is here to be a partner in research for your information technology needs.

Ownership, Management, Support, and ARC

We want to be transparent: ownership of Information Technology always stays with the Principal Investigator. Because of this ownership, you decide how your highly unique and specialized information technology resources within your research program are managed. Traditional options relegated research program owners to either hire their own IT resources, make due with limited sometimes untrained department IT support, or perform the management themselves.

With the ARC offering a new option has been provided. Beyond the basic IT support provided to all within AgriLife (inclusive of Research programs), ARC provides (upon request) advanced IT management for highly unique and specialized software, system, programming and networking needs.

If you choose the ARC services to manage your advanced research IT, ARC staff will consult with you to create a Memo of Understanding, or MOU, that details the scope of work that is to be managed.

Service Sectors

Research Consulting

ARC can help you with pre-award research grant and proposal writing, to make sure your research technology needs are fully accounted for and budgeted. This includes any systems, data storage, software, applications, and any advanced IT management services or technology needs your program may require. The ARC Service Center is here to support your research program from start to end of your grant or research project.

Expertise & Training

We do not just help you obtain your devices or software, then leave you to learn how to use it on your own. We can offer you support and training with your technology. From novice users who may be unfamiliar with the command line environment of a Linux cluster, to advanced users who have compilation and optimization questions about custom-developed software, we serve a wide variety of individuals with diverse levels of research computing. We also offer management & support for computational research design and implementation, software implementation and lifecycle management, application porting and tuning, data visualization and analysis techniques, and recommendations for new computational technologies and methods, should you need them.

Technology

ARC deploys all major enterprise systems for your high-performance computing needs. We offer enterprise storage systems like our Dell EMC Isilon, on-demand cloud storage, and long-term archive storage with petabytes of storage capacity. We also offer numerous advanced, specialized, scientific software applications and libraries. If we do not have exactly what you need in our toolbox, we will work with external vendors and you to identify what platform best serves your needs.

Security & Compliance

Subscribers to ARC receive security & compliance management services, at no cost, to you and your active research projects. Some of these services include developing security best practices, resolving security issues, conducting investigations, and reporting. We work with TAMUS, its members and other entities to minimize security risks and assure compliance with security policies and procedures for you. This allows you to focus on your core research activities, not your technology security & compliance.

ARC Services

We include our security and compliance services to any advanced IT systems, software or applications, or advanced support services at no cost.

  • Advanced Software & Application Management
    • Full planning, designing and development of software and applications for the full lifecycle of your research project
    • Provide outsource and contract support for 3rd Party applications
    • Work directly with vendors for installations, upgrades and support escalations
  • Advanced System & Network Management
    • completely managed, advanced system and network services
    • By offering these services, we can eliminate the daily chore of management for your servers and lab equipment, which allows you to devote more time and energy to achieving your research goals
  • Research Data Storage
    • options are fully managed to meet your needs
    • daily backups of your data
    • secure all your data storage
    • ensure that everything meets all security compliance needs
    • Hot storage is best for storing data that you use frequently, or what we call active data
    • Cold storage is optimized for storing data that you do not access often, but you still need it to be stored
      • best for data that you will not need to access more than once within 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks)
  • Site Setup and Review
    • Contract and technical support for third party applications, meaning software and applications not currently managed by AgriLife IT
    • Work directly with vendors for all your installation, update, upgrade, and support needs

Subscriptions

ARC Services are subscription-based.

Prices reflected are per year.
ServicePriceUnitRenewal Period
Enterprise Data Services & Storage$400per terabyteper year
Hot Storage$200per terabyteper year
Cool Storage$100per terabyteper year
Server & Platform Management$3000per 52 hoursper year
Workstation Managementvariesper workstation per monthper year
Applications Support & Software Development$3000per 52 hoursper year
By using this model, each research programs advanced technology needs are assessed based on on the programs daily needs.

For example, a research program that was assessed for advanced system administration identified a three-hour weekly need would be charged three hours x $3000 = $9000/year. The advanced system administration hours would be tracked through support services and audited for equity yearly.

Note that Basic Support Services are provided at no cost.  These services are included in the F&A (IDC) agreement as supported by indirect costs.

Advanced Management Services are provided upon request according to the rate structure shown above. These services are not included in the F&A (IDC) agreement and are considered direct costs in support of research programs.

Security & Compliance is included in any advanced information technology systems, software & applications, and advanced support services subscription.

Isilon

“Simple. Efficient. Scalable. Flexible.”

Isilon is a scale out, network-attached storage platform offered by ARC for

  • high-volume storage
  • backup
  • archiving of unstructured data

It provides a cluster-based storage array based on industry standard and is scalable to 50 petabytes in a single file system using its FreeBSD-derived OneFS file system.

Features

  •  Simple to manage
    • Simplify management no matter how large your data becomes
  •  Highly efficient 
    • Consolidate file workloads and cut costs with 80% utilization, automated tiering and data reduction options
  •  Massive scalability 
    • Scale easily from tens of terabytes to tens of petabytes without disruption

(according to Dell Technologies)

Contact

If you would like to learn more about AgriLife Research Cloud or ARC Service Center, you are interested in a free assessment, or would like to partner with us, please contact us using the methods below:

We would love to partner with you to find the best solution to your research technology needs!

Updated on October 7, 2021

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