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A model for enabling research in a (University) corporate ICT environment [eResearch Australasia]

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Presented at eResearch Australasia 2010. ...

Presented at eResearch Australasia 2010.

Abstract: Curtin University operates a centralised ICT environment managed by Curtin IT Services (CITS). The establishment of the CITS eResearch Support portfolio and eResearch and Advanced Computing Support (eRACS) technical team presented an opportunity and challenge to provide research-focussed solutions without duplicating the effort and services of the whole of CITS. A model was devised for managing eResearch projects which could be defined as either ‘research enabling infrastructure’, tools servicing the community, or ‘research collaboration projects’, focussed on a scholarly objective. The model utilises the technical, professional and client expertise of the whole of CITS. Ongoing maintenance is incorporated into commodity services where possible with eRACS providing technical support if required. This model provides the stability and efficiency of a corporate model and the flexibility needed for diverse research activities in a dynamic institution. It is able to incorporate commodity services offered by national infrastructure providers such as iVEC and Australian Research Collaboration Services.

Extended abstract (PDF): https://ocs.arcs.org.au/index.php/eraust/2010/paper/view/109/7

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  • Presented at eResearch Australasia 2010, 11/11/2010Thanks toMartin Borchert (QUT) and Malcolm Wolski (Griffith) for early advice and information. Also thanks to Reviewers, whose advice I have taken on board.Extended abstract at https://ocs.arcs.org.au/index.php/eraust/2010/paper/view/109
  • What is corporate ICT (at Curtin University)?Structured resource planning and management (PO) Consolidated specialized technical expertise and effort (Directorates)Portfolio of services (Services)
  • How do we approach research?Enhance research through the use of information and communication technologyStrategies around understanding researcher needs and research practice, connecting researchers to suitable resources and supporting the unique needs of researchersTactics around eResearch Projects and Research Technology Support, which will be covered today, and eResearch Conversations (or engagement)
  • Principles for eResearch SupportResearch comes before technologyResearchers know what they needOur role is to understand, advise and prepare for their decisionWe are not every solutionWe contribute to research outcomesWe are all part of Curtin
  • The Project Model1. Research Enabling Infrastructure: Platforms and capabilities that service broad sections of the research community. E.g. collaboration spaces;2. Research Project Collaboration: Projects with a specific scholarly objective that require technical expertise;3. Maintenance (Research Technology Support): A critical consideration, who will look after it in the long run?;4. CITS teams (unwound from the Corporate ICT circle), not SPs = Service Providers and Strategic Partners who are external to the university;
  • Case 1: Nurturing Together (RPC)Requirement: Had grant funding and couldn't find the technical expertise needed to get an online presenceEngagement: Started from the beginning to determine project objectives and subsequent technical solutionProposal: Bespoke solution using Drupal, not a supported enterprise systemOutcome: Drupal installed on standard VM, we support the application and every problem the researcher may have.Load is not significant as a one off, but not not highly scalable at present. It takes away our time to be able to help another researcher enhance their research.
  • Case 2: Cross Institutional Research Project collaboration area (RPC)Requirement: Approached by Curtin lead to provide a Moodle site for storing and exchanging documentsEngagement: We don't currently have an enterprise solution. We have some Moodle sites which cause us a major headache when they go wrong. We use Blackboard as our LMS.Proposal: Worked with researcher to define project objectives and functional requirements. It was agreed that Blackboard could meet these requirements.Outcome: Research project has a solution with full enterprise support, from systems to help desk. The researcher has met their objectives, we met ours, and we can move on to help someone else.
  • Case 3:Computational Cluster for Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (RPC)Requirement: approached to install and maintain a server farm to be used for correlating massive data sets shipped/transferred from east coast telescopes;Engagement: Conducted requirement gathering and planning which determined needs for location, network and system configuration, working with CIRA and CITS Infrastructure; Proposal: CITS Infrastructure planned physical requirements; new DC with racks, power, generator, network (dual 1Gb per server and 10Gb uplink to iVEC), a/c; we installed servers in racks, installed and configured OS, packages, etc. researchers configured apps;Outcome: System commissioned ready for pre-contract demonstration. New DC is supported by commodity operations while giving full access to swap disks. We fully administer and support the machines. CIRA admin applications/data.
  • Case 4: University Research Data Management System incorporating ANDS StC & DC (REI)Requirement:Received invitation for EOI from ANDS via DVC-R. Discussion between IM and eR, cognisant of Library, led to high level design;Engagement: Developed proposal for submission to ANDS between IM, eR and Library;Proposal: Established project with Steering Committee chaired by ORD, each Faculty represented, with PM assigned by PO, dedicated BA, development resources to come from BS, ORD, etc to refine proposal;Outcome: Will be implemented as enterprise system from day 1, with strongly aligned with researcher needs.
  • What to tell your friends…Shared university ICT can effectively support researchers;Focus on research outcomes by contributing technical expertise;Can structurally embed responsive and flexible approach;Use your ecosystem to enable enterprise scalability.
  • Visit http://cits.curtin.edu.au/eresearch

A model for enabling research in a (University) corporate ICT environment [eResearch Australasia] A model for enabling research in a (University) corporate ICT environment [eResearch Australasia] Presentation Transcript

  • Peter Hicks
    A model for enabling research
  • Corporate ICT (at Curtin)
    Coordinated resource management
    Business Analysis & Consultation
    Website Services
    Connectivity
    Consolidated expertise, effort & resources
    Infrastructure
    Teaching & learning Technology
    Electronic Communication
    Project Office
    Software Development
    EnterpriseApplicationSupport
    Portfolio of services
    ClientServices
    BusinessSystems
    Research Technology Support
    Information Management
    Product & Technology Evaluation & Advice
    IT Service Desk
    Managed Desktop
  • Approach to research support
    Connecting
    Understanding
    Supporting
    Conversations
    ResearchTechnologySupport
    eResearchProjects
  • Principles guiding approach
    Researchers decide, we advise
    In anecosystem of services
    Contributeto researchoutcomes
    Researchersknow their needs
    Researchbeforetechnology
    All part ofCurtin
  • The project model
    Maintenance
    Enabling Infra
    Project collab
    eRS
    PO
    Project scope
    Servicescope
    Users
    CS
    Front Apps
    BS
    Inf
    Back Apps
    Smallproject
    Proof of concept
    Non commodity
    OS
    FTG
    Hardware
    CUL
    Largeproject
    Enterprisesystem
    Environment
    SPs
  • Example: Nurturing Together
    Maintenance
    Maintenance
    Enabling Infra
    Project collab
    Project collab
    eRS
    eRS
    PO
    Project scope
    Servicescope
    Project scope
    Users
    CS
    Non com
    Front Apps
    BS
    Inf
    Inf
    Back Apps
    Smallproject
    Proof of concept
    Smallproject
    Non commodity
    OS
    OS
    FTG
    Hardware
    Hardware
    CUL
    Largeproject
    Enterprisesystem
    Environment
    Environment
    SPs
  • Example: Cross-inst. project area
    Maintenance
    Maintenance
    Enabling Infra
    Project collab
    Project collab
    eRS
    eRS
    PO
    Project scope
    Servicescope
    Project scope
    Users
    Users
    CS
    CS
    Front Apps
    Front Apps
    BS
    BS
    Inf
    Inf
    Back Apps
    Back Apps
    Smallproject
    Proof of concept
    Non commodity
    OS
    OS
    FTG
    Hardware
    Hardware
    CUL
    Largeproject
    Enterprisesystem
    Environment
    Environment
    SPs
  • Example: CIRA Cluster
    Maintenance
    Maintenance
    Enabling Infra
    Project collab
    Project collab
    eRS
    eRS
    PO
    Project scope
    Servicescope
    Project scope
    Users
    CS
    Front Apps
    BS
    Non commod
    Inf
    Inf
    Back Apps
    Smallproject
    Proof of concept
    Non commodity
    OS
    FTG
    Hardware
    Hardware
    CUL
    Largeproject
    Enterprisesystem
    Largeproject
    Environment
    Environment
    SPs
  • Example: URDMS ( StC & DC)
    Maintenance
    Maintenance
    Enabling Infra
    Project collab
    Enabling Infra
    eRS
    eRS
    PO
    PO
    Project scope
    Servicescope
    Servicescope
    Users
    Users
    CS
    CS
    Front Apps
    Front Apps
    BS
    BS
    Inf
    Inf
    Back Apps
    Back Apps
    Proof of concept
    Smallproject
    Proof of concept
    Non commodity
    OS
    OS
    FTG
    FTG
    Hardware
    Hardware
    CUL
    CUL
    Largeproject
    Enterprisesystem
    Enterprisesystem
    Environment
    Environment
    SPs
    SPs
    in progress
  • What to tell your friends
    flexible
    responsive
    scalable
  • Thank you
    Peter Hicks
    p.hicks@curtin.edu.au
    @enablerRambler
    http://cits.curtin.edu.au/eresearch