Research

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Research

REDUCING THE DATA SECURITY BURDEN FOR RESEARCHERS

With guidance from ISBER and funding from the Office of Research, ETS developed and delivered the Secure Compute Research Environment (SCRE), a private, secure, virtual environment in which researchers may remotely analyze sensitive data, create research results, and output their research results and analysis. Many restricted data providers require a minimum set of standards in a data security plan, such as a stand-alone computer in a uniquely-keyed physical location, no Internet connection, USB/optical media disabled, printing disabled, and an antivirus installation. This service minimizes the security and implementation burden for researchers who cannot easily construct their own data security plan. It also allows departmental IT units to redirect their limited resources and staff time to specialized local IT needs. The SCRE is currently available to UCSB researchers at no cost.

The California Health and Human Services Agency and the UNC Carolina Population Center have already approved of the SCRE standards. In the coming year, we plan to expand the SCRE to satisfy the requirements of the US Bureau for Labor Statistics - National Longitudinal Surveys (Geocode Data), US Department of Education - Institute for Education Sciences (National Center for Education Statistics), and the University of Michigan Population Studies Center - Panel Study of Income Dynamics. More information on the SCRE is available via http://www.ets.ucsb.edu/services.

 

NORTH HALL DATA CENTER USAGE ON THE RISE

Over 50 departments, institutes, and research centers now host systems at the North Hall Data Center (NHDC). The NHDC is UCSB's central data center and is a shared resource across the academic, research, and administrative communities. This year, the Earth Research Institute, the California NanoSystems Institute, the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research and others began hosting systems in the NHDC. When departments utilize the NHDC, they no longer need to maintain their own server room which typically includes coordinating support and paying directly for the infrastructure: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; an un-interruptible power supply; networking; an alarm system; and video security. There is no direct cost to the researcher or department hosting equipment in the NHDC.

“The University Library is a great example of a campus organization that used to maintain their own data center and now runs out of NHDC. Other departments leased off-campus computing space before relocating to NHDC,” said Kirk Grier, Director of ETS Infrastructure.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS ADVANCE RESEARCH AT NATURAL RESERVES

ETS and the local UC Natural Reserve System partner to offer infrastructure solutions that support researchers and students visiting these remote locations. At the Sedgewick Reserve, ETS designed, budgeted, and supported the implementation of an 100 MB Ethernet radio system that provides a more robust network connection between the Reserve’s Field Station, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, and the UCSB campus. The new system went into production in 2014.

At the Santa Cruz Island Reserve, we worked with UC Reserve staff, contractors and The Nature Conservancy to replace the existing point to point radio link that provides wireless Internet to Santa Cruz Island. This involved ensuring that the Reserve’s radio gear and communications systems could connect to a more stable, solar powered cell site with battery and generator backup.

At Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve, we installed a point-to-point radio link to stabilize the network connection which facilitates the integration of cameras that monitor the snowy plovers, augment the whale count, and support other research projects.