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Welcome to the Technology Focal Point of the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis

CRMDA is a research unit and it offers access to research-oriented computing resources. 

In order to obtain access, it is necessary for faculty and student researchers to register with the CRMDA. For registration information, see the Account Signup Page.

As of January 3, 2015, account holders are able to

  • Log into the Linux high-performance compute cluster, hpc.quant.ku.edu.
    • hpc is a "login node" from which one can access system resources. In particular, one can
      • Ask for an interactive session with a single compute node, so it can be used as if it were a personal desktop workstation, or
      • Schedule large, long-running programs that occupy many compute nodes at once.
    • Users need a secure shell (SSH) based program to log in on these systems. Macintosh and Linux workstations are generally provided with SSH compatible access programs and there are many free SSH compatible programs for MS Windows (WinSCP, Putty, OpenNX, Filezilla).
    • A cluster compute framework is a tightly interwoven network For general information about the Linux operating system, we offer a lot of advice on the Linux Main Page. Mastering teh Cluster computSecond, Clusters require some specialized skills, especially where the submission and management of big jobs is concerned. Help documents are located at the Cluster Main Page.
    • About the Environment: The Cluster homepage explains that this is a cluster of Dell PowerEdge 2950 and 1950 systems that is supervised by CRMDA and administered by the KU ITTC.
  • Access the ResStat Windows remote desktop systems (requires remote desktop client)
    • These systems are listed on the RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) main page, http://winstat.quant.ku.edu/rdp. To log in, one must generally give the username preceeded by the domain name in the format "doman\your-login-here".  At KU, almost all users are members of the "HOME" domain, and so the user login will be "HOME\your-login-here".
  • The basic account will offer
    • a user "home" folder, which, as on most Unix/Linux systems, is located under the /home directory.
    • limited access to some network file storage in other locations in the file system.
  • For Security reasons, these systems are available only from
    • within the KU Campus network, or
    • from systems that are connected to the KU campus Access from on campus or VPN (KU Anywhere):
    • The install of the VPN client on user workstations has been a troublesome process for some users.  We do not have staff to offer much "hands on" support for configuration of VPN clients. We urge users to contact KU IT for that support, since KU IT offers the KU Anywhere framework and they have considerable expertise in its installation and usage.  From time-to-time, we do learn some of the ins-and-outs of the KU Anywhere framework and we documented them on the VPN Help Page. If users have a working VPN client, but have difficulty accessing CRMDA resources that are protected by VPN, we urge the clients to visit the Center and demonstrate the trouble they are having so we can try to understand what is wrong.

Additional Access to Resources

Registered users will, by definition, have access to a limited amount of network file storage.  As of January 1, 2015, we allocate 20GB storage for each user account.  Each user's primary file storage location is the user's  folder in  "/home".  When users log in, they will generally find that their current working directory is the home directory.

Users who are employees or affiliated with CRMDA may be granted access to additional resources. There are several folders under  /crmda, that may become accessible to users with various types of accounts.  Many, but not all user accounts, will be created with access to read and write in the folder /crmda/users.

Only CRMDA employees will have access to /crmda/projects, /crmda/procedures, /crmda/archive. 

The network file storage in the Linux side of the cluster will appear as a shared folder in the ResStat remote desktop systems.  Currently, those foldera appear as  H:\ (for the /home directory of the user) and R:\ (for the /crmda share.

There is No Lifeguard on Duty

Your access is offered as a courtesy of the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis. We offer access, without any legally binding warranty of service. CRMDA staffers and affiliates use these systems for their research purposes. We welcome others with legitimate research purposes to register for accounts and use them.

However, generally speaking, these are research computing systems for which we have only the most minimal amount of free technical support.  We don't do phone support on these systems. If you have trouble connecting, please come to the CRMDA offices during walk-in consulting hours.  We we can discuss what's going wrong. If your computer is portable, please bring it. Otherwise, we can let you log in on one of our properly configured systems and help you learn how a system ought to work.

If you believe there is a hardware malfunction, please come into the Center, or send an email message to clusterhelp@ittc.ku.edu.

If you require technical consulting or support with software usage, and we cannot resolve it quickly, then your situation will fall into the category of a fee-for-service research consulting project. Users who need help will need to fill out the service consulting agreement that we use for all of our projects.

Access to these systems in not supported through the central KU Information Technology system. Consultants at KU's help line, 864-8080, do not know anything about our systems and they will not be able to help you. Please do not bother the KU IT consultants with questions about our systems.

File Storage!

Each system has its own disk space, but that space is very limited.  There is a much larger amount of disk space in the Networked File Storage (nfs). Those storage systems provide the storage that appears as the HOME folder for users on hpc.quant.ku.edu (which appears as H:\ on Winstat) as well as the CRMDA shared folder, which appears as /crmda to hpc.quant.ku.edu or as the "crmda" share on ResStat (usually drive R:\).

Those storage systems are also available to systems outside the Cluster framework. Information about how that can be done, along with information about controlling permissions and so forth, is available on Our page on External Storage.

Software Help Pages

In the Software Pages, we offer collection of tips and links about programming and software usage that should help researchers on all operating systems.

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