Informatics Computing Resources Provision
This pages outlines how hardware and other computing resources are allocated
to members of Informatics and also
outlines the procurement
Equipment allocation principles
Allocation of equipment is based on the following principles/assumptions:
[*: `commodity' refers to standard, centrally
configured, centrally managed machines.]
- all non research funded staff and all PhDs are entitled to a personal, desktop
CPU and screen. Equipment for research funded staff must
be provided by the relevant research grant.
- taught students will use shared equipment in labs/terminal rooms.
- typically user desktop machines will be managed as commodity DICE
- commodity computers can at the option of the user be switched to
a different support model such as totally user-managed (aka
self-managed). Please see the details of the support models on the
Support policy page before you decide to do this.
- some admin staff will be using Windows-based machines rather than
DICE. There is not general support for Windows-based
machines other than for admin purposes, except as provided by EUCS.
- the preferred CPU hardware replacement cycle is 3 years.
- ongoing staff/PhD machine replacements will happen at whatever
times in the year are most applicable.
- any replacement of machines in taught student labs will usually
happen during, or at the end of, the summer.
- the LCD panel hardware replacement cycle is expected to be 4-5
- replacement of existing CRT monitors will happen on a 3-4 year
Equipment costs and trade-offs
For equipment allocation the following cost issues may be relevant:
- at any time there will be a 'default' specification of commodity
equipment. The current cost of that can be used in calculating
any trade-off or augmented resource.
- by default a new screen will be an LCD panel. Cost will determine
what type/size is given to each category (staff/PhDs, taught
students, admin, etc).
- the default new DICE desktop CPU will usually be the preferred
supplier's default configuration of CPU speed, memory and disk
size for the typically supported hardware.
- staff can augment their default hardware entitlement with
additional funds (eg, purchasing a laptop instead of a desktop).
However, any additional hardware requirements (and any additional software
required to support the hardware) may be regarded as special and may
not be supported under the commodity model. If additional support
is required suitable resourcing will need to be identified in
- An institute may opt to augment the standard equipment provision
for a PhD student with its own funds.
- grant-based research staff can opt to purchase/use the default
DICE configuration or augment the standard model with additional
capacity (eg, CPU speed, memory, disk space, etc).
Access to resources
Informatics also provides basic computing resources:
- all member of Informatics are entitled to a basic allocation of
resources such as printing and central disk space.
- the boundary between normal and exceptional use of such resources
is grey. Users who require anything other than the 'standard'
allocation (determined pragmatically) should consult with their
local site liaison person to agree additional usage and possible
give computing staff warning if you expect your
usage to be out of the ordinary for any length of time . It helps the
planning of resource provision and allocation.
If you have any queries about equipment or resource allocation please
address them to your local site computing liaison person.
Core academic and administrative staff
Equipment will be provided automatically to new staff. Computing
staff should be notified of arrivals well in advance (more than 2
weeks) to allow time to procure/allocate equipment.
Grant-based research staff should either contact Sheila Gardner
computing officers about what equipment they should be
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