Jake W. Streamer | | Published January 30, 2023
Photo by Jada Jennings
S.Since 1976, the third floor of Nathaniel Rochester Hall has housed a variety of projects and workrooms for a community of students of varying majors and experience levels. This is the Computer Science House (CSH) at RIT, where he is one of the few special interest residential floors on campus.
Both on-floor and off-floor members are familiar with their companies. Nearly every row in his typical RIT dorm room has been built or modified, including drink machines, doorbells, lounges, and internal network switching systems.
Content of donation
In July of this year, CSH received a large donation from alumni who were primarily associated with Wayfair LLC. The donation, which came after the company liquidated one of its server farms and outsourced some of its data centers to Google, allowed CSH to sell over $800,000 worth of his server equipment, cables, and hard drives. provided.
Field personnel secured donations to CSH in May 2022. What started as a scout for used hardware with a simple Facebook post became an ongoing conversation between CSH and Wayfair representatives. The company’s servers were originally used for his offsite cloud storage, but he ended up being owned by a number of university groups, including his CSH at RIT.
The house’s on-floor server room is now equipped with a variety of machines running in rows of server racks. Some of these servers are maintained by his CSH, but most are created and programmed by individual members.
CSH members are in the habit of hosting their own servers using large virtual machine clusters, an essential tool for educational groups teaching networking, computing, or systems administration. Members can create anything from obscure video games to media servers and web services. Such devices require intensive computational power, making it much easier for CSH to provide acquired hardware.
CSH system administrator Mary Strodl explained how this practice affects the culture of the home. “There are a lot of internal things that make up an ecosystem of members,” she says.
CSH members can access these tools to create virtual machines and advance their knowledge of computer science.
“I think that’s the biggest thing,” she added, “to give people the resources to try expensive and powerful hardware.”
future of community
RIT Links is a convenient hub for quickly viewing and navigating the various RIT websites that students use every day.
“Of course, we would love to host more game servers,” added McDade.
CSH has a strong reputation for hosting video game servers, enjoyed by students and off-campus players alike. For example, RIT Counter Strike: Global Offensive servers have been running for over five years and were frequently visited by international players.
The overall scale of contributions is very large. “We received 1.2 petabytes of hard drive storage,” McDade estimates. That’s 1.2 million gigabytes for him, or the equivalent of 4,000 average consumer laptops’ storage.
McDade next discussed existing backups on the CSH server. “Our main storage cluster has 300 terabytes of available storage and triple redundancy. So we currently have 900 terabytes of triple redundant storage.” Easily double your existing storage capacity for backups, programs, services, and other projects.
CSH has been a hardworking and creative collective of student organizations for many years, and the group is poised to further its position as a key participant in the RIT community.
“We also want to be able to host student websites and provide computing to others on campus,” McDade said.
House’s servers already host the websites of various student organizations and Special Interest Houses such as the House of General Science and the Art House.
“If there are students or faculty who want to host something or use our computers, we can facilitate that,” added McDade. “[The house] has a dedicated team of [systems administrators] We are happy to help you get your website up and running on our servers. ”
McDade also explained that the new hardware allows homes to do away with their old computers. CSH has already started reaching out to local organizations with known hardware needs.
“All our old hardware came to us with previous donations…some [University of Rochester] Laser Energetics Lab, and part of LinkedIn. These machines have served us well for years, and hopefully they will serve others as well. ”
“I think that’s the biggest thing: giving people the resources to try expensive, powerful hardware.” “If you have a student or faculty who wants to host something or use our computers, we can facilitate that.”