Analytics Environments on Demand

Researchers need easy access to analytic computing environments that are designed to fit their needs. BRC's new Analytics Environments on-Demand (AEoD) service is designed for researchers who need to run analytic software packages (such as ArcGIS, Stata, SPSS, R Studio, etc.) on a platform that is scaled up from a standard laptop or workstation, in a Windows-based environment.

In the discovery and design phase of AEoD, we learned:

  • that the demand for an AEoD service extends to many academic domains, from demography to business, from public policy to sociology and law. The AEoD service needs to meet the requirements of many domains, and will be expanded over time to include others. 
  • researchers using the software tools included in AEoD  compute in a highly interactive way. They need easy access to additional software libraries and to be able to integrate their own custom modules with proprietary software.
  • researchers need the ability to write results and log files to local storage.
  • the compute power necessary for a research desktop equates to multiple cores and at least 8GBs of RAM. The AEoD service will provide VMs with these specifications as a standard, but upon request, will be able to provide VMs with up to 16 cores and 128GBs of RAM or more. Benchmarking tests suggest that most compute jobs in the AEoD  realm of computing complete within three hours.
  • a consulting service for AEoD  and a process-driven onboarding program will be critical to the success of the service.
  • ongoing partnership with reseachers, departmental IT Staff, IST and CSS are also essential for the success of the service.

The AEoD Service is currently:

  • in partnership with the Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) and the Haas School of Business.
  • developing a partnership with the Archeological Research Facility to support the use of geographical information systems (GIS) across campus.
  • expanding the production environment of the service to allow partners to add "condo" units -- additional AEoD compute nodes.
  • exploring the possibility of adding Linux to the list of available virtual machine OS options. (AEoD currently provides Windows 10 and Windows Server virtual machines).
  • exploring the possiblity of a secure version of AEoD for work with sensitive data -- personally indentifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), etc.

We are currently exploring the possibility of extending the AEoD Service to include Linux-based environments, and also a new AEoD infrastructure to support research with "sensitive data", for which the requirements include a data use agreement. 

Recent news articles about AEoD:

Please contact Research IT at research-it@berkeley.edu with any questions or comments on the AEoD service.

Roadmap - Phase Projected Dates
Discovery and Design March, 2016
Prototype - Build June, 2016
Test - Review - Revise July, 2016
Launch of AEoD Service Fall 2016
Extend service to include Linux research desktops Fall 2017
Explore options for Secure-AEoD Fall 2017

Program: