Research Computing >> Hardware >> Computing facilities overview


Windows facilities

The backbone of Kellogg's computing infrastructure is a Microsoft Windows network. Every faculty member and doctoral student at Kellogg gets a Windows account with a default allocation of 200MB in his/her home directory. This home directory is mapped as drive "H:" when the user logs in. Under the current operational framework, application software is installed in individual machines, rather than in a network server.

Many doctoral students at Kellogg get shared offices in which they have access to desktop computers or can bring their own and connect to the network with the help of KIS.

Kellogg maintains two computer laboratories, one in the Jacobs complex, and one in Wieboldt Hall. Some machines in both labs are labeled as "special software" and these include statistical and other research related software packages: Matlab, SPSS, Stata, X-Win32, Scientific WorkPlace, etc. Faculty may rely on these software packages for instructional use.

Windows servers:

  • Sheridan Cluster : The Sheridan Cluster is a Microsoft Windows virtual machine "farm". Sheridan allows researchers to log into a Windows server remotely with access to a suite of selected software packages as well as accesss to network storage and the drives on the user's personal computer. The cluster is a collaborative venture between the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the Kellogg School of Management.
  • Kellogg data warehouse and application: This system is currently under development and will be rolled out in late 2011 or early 2012. It consists of two servers and 50 TB of attached storage. The application server, with 88 cores Intel Westmere-EX and 256GB or RAM, will have selected statistical/mathematical applications. The data warehouse server, with 44 cores and 128GB of RAM, will control the storage unit and provide SQL services.


For additional information on any of the available UNIX systems, please follow the links provided.

  • Kellogg's Unix server (skew4): Skew4 is a Dell PowerEdge 6850 server, running Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.3. It has four dual core Intel Xeon processors, running at 3.4GHz. The total RAM space of skew4 is 64 GB, and the total storage available is 4TB. Kellogg faculty, doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers are eligible for accounts. [Note, November 16, 2011: the replacement server is currently being configured and will be rolled out soon.]
  • The Social Science Computing Cluster (SSCC): This is Linux environment with access to 260 AMD Opteron, most running at 2.8GHz CPUs and 4GB of RAM per node in each compute node (versus 16 in the master nodes, seldon and hardin). Users get a quota of of 5GB by default and can run up to 8 concurrent jobs in batch. The SSCC is funded jointly by NUIT, the Weinberg College or Arts & Sciences and the Kellogg School of Management. Northwestern researchers in the social sciences are eligible for accounts in the system.
  • The High Performance Computing System -- Quest, a general use high performance computing platform of fastest computers in the world. The cluster consists of 504 nodes (with 4032 Intel Nehalem E5520 cores, with 6GB of RAM per core) and 252 nodes (witj 3024 Intel Westmere X565m cores, with 6GB of RAM per core).Authorized users are given a default quota of 50GB in their home directory. Faculty, doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers are eligible to apply for accounts and computing allocations.

Vault -- university research data storage facility

The Vault Collaborative Research Data Storage is a university-wide system that allows researchers to upload, store and share large research files with colleagues via a web link or URL.

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