Computers and Software

This page summarizes some of the computers and software programs that we use in our practice. We take great care to ensure that our systems are reliable, available and secure. To protect from lightening and power line disturbances all hardware is buffered from the mains by high quality Uniteruptable Power Supplies (UPS). To ensure integrity of data in the event of loss or theft we use Full-Disk-Encryption (FDE) on all machines. To ensure availability and protect from data loss, all user files backup up nightly to a central file server. Certain critical files are also mirrored in real-time to secure cloud servers. All backup media is encrypted and backup archives and disk snapshots are stored off site on a rotating schedule.

All of our systems run Xubuntu Linux as the host operating system. We run Microsoft Windows applications as "guest" operating systems using Virtual Machine software such as VMWare or Virtual Box. This approach allows us to continue to use legacy applications (e.g. instrument control) that only run under obsolete operating systems (e.g. Windows XP) without incurring unnecessary security risks.

For extreme computing tasks we use a GPU workstations equipped with nVidia Titan X Pascal or nVidia GeForce 1080 Ti Pascal GPUs. Our fastest GPU workstation can produce in excess of 44 TeraFLOPs single precision throughput on CUDA enabled applications such as Remcom's XFdtd simulator. Using GPUs we can now run and complete simulations in a matter of minutes or hours that would take day or weeks on traditional CPU machines.

In cases where the problem is too large for our in-house computers we utilize scalable cloud services such as rescale.com and Amazon EC2.

Computers