Institute Expands Computing Resources

In a major step forward, the Institute is meeting the need for more computational power to wrestle with the complexity of modeling increasingly large data sets. Since our inception in 2007, the typical practicum project performed by student teams has steadily grown from hundreds of megabytes to gigabytes and now terabyte scale data problems. With the help and generosity of SAS, the Institute is upgrading its computing facility with a powerful 21-blade server stack capable of running the latest high performance analytics software. The new servers represent a fivefold increase in computer processing speed and over 300 terabytes of data storage. Installation of the stack is underway and the future deployment of high-performance in-memory analytics tools, such as SAS Visual Analytics and SAS In-Memory Statistics for Hadoop, will begin soon.

“We’re extremely grateful to SAS,” said the Institute’s director Dr. Michael Rappa. “The new servers will enable our students to use state-of-the-art software tools to grapple with the kind of big data challenges we regularly encounter with practicum projects. Access to in-memory analytics will enrich their learning experience.”

The Institute is also grateful to Dr. Herbert Kirk for his leadership in spearheading this effort. A distinguished alumnus, executive-in-residence, and member of the Institute’s Advisory Board, Dr. Kirk played an instrumental role in facilitating the ongoing effort to enhance the Institute’s computing capabilities.