The Infrastructure Group (TIG) provides service-oriented computing, communications and operations assistance to support the world-class research underway at CSAIL. On the technical side, TIG handles everything from maintaining and monitoring a complex computing infrastructure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensuring lab members can access cutting-edge computing services. TIG maintains the labís five data centers, handles space accommodations and event logistics. Additionally, TIG actively promotes CSAIL research to the broader MIT community, reputable news organizations and the general public via a full-range of media relations and communications services.

Our on-premise OpenStack private cloud consists of 99 physical nodes, with 1440 physical cores (presenting as 2880 due to hyperthreading) and 12T RAM. Data storage is provided in many forms: the AFS and NFS network file systems, as well as the Ceph object and block storage system. Together, these services comprise over 1PB of local data, much of which is backed up using enterprise backup hardware and software, and rotated through off-site storage facilities for disaster recovery.

The CSAIL network connects all locations in the research areas of the Stata Center with gigabit Ethernet at a density of one port per 25 square feet of office space, for a grand total of about 4,000 gigabit network ports. The network backbone is 10-gigabit Ethernet with two redundant backbone switches; the link between the core switches is 30 Gbit/s. CSAIL has aggregate outside connectivity of 10 Gbit/s. The CSAIL Wireless network serves all floors in the Gates tower, and all CSAIL and LIDS areas in the Dreyfoos tower (D6 and below).

CSAIL operates three parallel wireless networks. All are implemented by the same physical infrastructure, which currently (March 2012) consists of 73 Meraki MR14 access points. Each access point has two radios, and is configured for 802.11a/n on the 5-GHz band and 802.11g/n on the 2.4-GHz band. The improved channel separation of the 5-GHz band allows us to use 40-MHz channels for .11n support, providing a maximum data rate of about 300 Mbit/s. In the spring of 2014, we replaced access points on the second and fourth floors with Meraki MR34 units, which support IEEE 802.11ac; we will be rolling out this new technology to other floors in future years.

CSAIL also maintains a printing, copying, and scanning infrastructure, with dozens of high-speed color copier/printers, and support for print job spooling, client configuration issues, printer jams, toner, paper, or other physical issues with printers.

-- MarkPearrow - 20 Sep 2017

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