ABOUT THE MARTINOS CENTER IT INFRASTRUCTURE

The Martinos Center IT support group consists of three full-time and one part-time system managers specializing in Linux administration with varying expertise in Windows and OSX administration and web and database programming. The Center has over 600 faculty, staff, postdocs and students.  A large part of our user base come from outside the official Martinos Center department. These groups include MGH Neurology, MGH Amnesia, MIT BCS, Harvard Psychology and many others.

The largest part of our work is desktop support.  In our user's offices and labs there are over 300 Linux workstation, 100 Windows desktops and 50 Macs that we maintain. We assists users with purchasing the correct equipment, installation of operating systems and specialized software, backup and troubleshooting. Also we assist users with complying with Partners IT policies such as laptop encryption.

The IT group maintains over 25 central Linux servers.  These are located either in a makeshift server room on the 1st floor of CNY149 and at MGH's enterprise data center located in Needham. The major purpose of these servers is for data storage but all other major services of any large IT operation are also run such as web, mail, and databases. The one big exception is core networking (e.g DNS, routing) which is handled by Partners IT.

The center has two batch computing clusters at the moment.  One is an extremely old one consisting of 120 dual Opteron nodes.  It is used mainly for testing and non-time-critical work. This is located in the makeshift server room in CNY149.  All nodes come from a San Diego outfit called Verari (formerly RackSaver). The job queuing software used is Torque/Maui.

Our newest batch computing cluster is located at Partners' Needham data center. It was bought in April 2009 andsconsists of 128 quad Xeon 5472 nodes each with 32GB of RAM.  This cluster was put together by a company called VXTech from Montreal.  All nodes have Infiniband 20Gbs per second interconnects for fast MPI processing andse used Torque/Maui for job queuing.

We still maintain many generations of storage servers.  Our oldest servers are a mix of older external SCSI-to-IDE/SATA RAID enclosures using internal 3ware RAID IDE cards and total over 50TB.  We also have installed a fibre-channel NexSAN 32TB SATABeast, four Sun SunFire x4500's with 36TB each and four Scalable Informatics JackRabbits iwth 36TB each. All of this storage is made available to workstations and the clusters via NFS.

A 1.8 Petabyte storage cluster was installed and went online in May 2010. This storage cluster uses IBM DCS9900 storage arrays with 1200 SATA hard disks.  The array controllers connect via redundant Fibre-Channel fabric to nine IBM HS22 Blade Servers running RedHat Enterprise Linux and the GPFS cluster file system. The new compute cluster accesses the storage directly via GPFS client software while the rest of the computers in the center use NFS. Backup is provided using a IBM TS3500 Tape Library with 1760 Cartridge Slots and four LTO-4 tape drives. Backup software is IBM's Tivoli Backup.

In the software realm, the majority of programs in use are open source or home grown, both for user's analysis and administration work.  The major exception is MATLAB for which the center has a floating license server with 120 licenses and several added toolboxes.  There are scattered groups with other specific proprietary software installs such as SPSS and LabView.

(See also the Martinos Center Facilities page)

Contact the Webmaster