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This monthly newsletter is created by Research IT and is designed to communicate about the work of Research IT over the course of the month. An archive of newsletters is available on the Research IT website at

Keep up on the latest news from Research IT by reading the Research IT blog, or simply subscribe to the newsletter.



Stats Consulting and DB as a Service

Research IT at Tech Services has partnered with CITL and the Scholarly Commons at the University Library to offer a statistics consulting pilot to faculty, staff, students, and affiliates. In addition to the statistics consulting pilot, Database as a Service (DBaaS) is being piloted through the same partnership.  Students will provide front-line database support and will coordinate with Tech Services database administrators to provide database consulting. Both pilots, which will run through the 2017-18 academic year, will provide the necessary data to define what campus consulting needs exist and what is needed to bridge the gap.

OnSite Consultants Available

Technology Services OnSite Student Consultants are available to assist with your technical troubles. They answer questions, install/configure computers and printers, correct software issues, and install and troubleshoot computing network problems for University faculty, staff, students, researchers, and retirees (anyone with a valid NetID). Most consulting questions deal with user-level issues within Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX systems, and can include, but are not limited to VPN configuration, networking setup, E-mail client setup, OS boot problems, productivity applications, operating systems, disk and file restoration, virus removal, and general software installation.

The team provides hands-on computer consulting and support. Consultants will be dispatched directly to an individual’s home, office, or campus residence (in Champaign-Urbana) to resolve the issue. If the customer would rather bring the computer to campus to have it worked on, the OnSite team has an office in DCL for this purpose.

In addition to supporting home users, many consultants are directly assigned to work in departmental units in an hourly role, either providing supplemental support to the departmental IT staff or working alone to support all aspects of the IT environment.



Processor Upgrade to ICCP

The Illinois Campus Cluster Program (ICCP) is evaluating Intel’s latest processor architecture, known by the codename Skylake, for the next specification refresh for campus cluster compute nodes. The Skylake architecture will have significantly greater memory bandwidth and processor cores per socket than the current generation of ICCP node (based on Intel’s Broadwell processor).

Highlighting ICCP Research

The Illinois Campus Cluster Program (ICCP) was utilized for processing research done by Professor Jean-Pierre Leburton, a member of the Beckman Institute's Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterial Group. Leburton's work has recently been featured in numerous articles for his work on the future of transistors and the role of nanopores in DNA


Cloud Services

KnownEnG Grant Awarded

The Knowledge Engine for Genomics (KnowEnG) was awarded a National Institute of Health grant for $30,000 to build out and optimize their genomics pipeline in Amazon Web Services. The grant is meant to increase capacity, lower costs (through scaling), and fund free trial periods for new users.

Microsoft Azure Contract Signed

Illinois has signed a contract with Microsoft to be able to provide access to Microsoft Azure cloud resources. Ultimately, the goal is to create a system similar to the current Amazon Web Services at Illinois offering where University faculty, staff and researchers can procure Azure resources while staying aligned with the University’s needs. Now that we have a contract in place, Technology Services is currently working through the logistics required to provision Microsoft Azure resources and re-bill through the University. Technology Services is also working with Strategic Procurement to provide Google Cloud resources to campus.

Further announcements will be made when the Azure offering is ready for campus customers. Basic information about Microsoft Azure can be found at

If you have questions about Microsoft Azure at Illinois, or if you have already set up a personal Azure account for University business, please contact

DAS Lab Cuts Web Hosting Costs By 90% with AWS

The Distributed Autonomous Systems lab is moving their web presence to Amazon Web Services (AWS), cutting their hosting costs by over 90% and migrating their machine learning workloads, since the machine in their lab had run out of PCI Express slots for GPUs and AWS has substantial on-demand capacity.


Project Updates

Training Opportunities

The training project continues to identify opportunities to aggregate and identify valuable trainings for researchers, professors and graduate students. The Research IT calendar provides links to multiple training calendars from across campus. Some quickly upcoming, valuable training sessions are identified in the Upcoming Training post on the Research IT website.

Training Coordinator Position

Computational Science and Engineering is seeking a Training Coordinator or Senior Training Coordinator. The application deadline is Sept. 17. A full job description is available on the Illinois Human Resources website.


 To contact us visit the Research IT website or email


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