Boilerplate text for grant proposals

Below are various texts which describe Aalto Science IT, Aalto ITS, and CSC resources, suitable for inclusion in grant applications an the like. There are various types suitable for different purposes.

If you create your own texts and would like to share them, send them to us.

Warning

These texts are starting points, not something that should be included as-is. The texts need to be adapted and tailored to fit your particular proposal - if you need help with proposal writing you can contact the Grant Writer or Research Liaison Officer of your School for advice (contact information is available here).

Focus on Triton

Computing and modelling are strategic areas of Aalto University. To support research in these scopes the university is committed to provide proper hardware resources and supporting personnel on long term basis. Currently Aalto Science-IT provides a system with about 10000 computing cores. The System also contains 150 NVIDIA cards for GPU computing and over 5 PB of fast storage capacity suitable for Big Data needs. All parts are connected with a fast Infiniband network to support parallel computing and fast data access. To keep the resources competitive Aalto Science-IT annually upgrades the system based on the needs of researchers.

All resources are integrated with the national resources allowing easy migration to even larger resources when necessary. These include e.g. University dedicated OpenStack based cloud resources and access to thousands of servers via the national computing grid. Furthermore Aalto Science-IT provides much preconfigured software and hands on support to make the usage for researchers as effective as possible. On the personnel side Science-IT has six permanent Ph.D. level staff to keep the system running and providing teaching and consultation for researchers.

Acknowledging Triton in publications

Remember you need to acknowledge Aalto Science-IT in your papers if you use Triton and its scratch filesystem. See the acknowledging Triton page for instructions on how to do that and some boilerplate text.

Focus on data

Computing and data are strategic areas in Aalto University.

The university provides data management and computing solutions throughtout the data lifecycle. The university provides free storage to researchers of essentially unlimited size, provided that the data is managed well. Data storage includes 5PB of high-performance non-backed-up Lustre filesystem space connected directly to the Triton computing cluster for efficient and secure analysis, and 1PB of reliable backed-up storage space for longer-term storage. Expert staff, both technical and administrative, provide advice and hands-on support in data storage, computation, FAIR principles, data management planning, as well as computation.

Data management is designed with a focus on security. Recommended storage locations are centrally located for security. Computing nodes and Lustre data storage servers are physically located at CSC, Keilaranta 14, Espoo. The server room is certified security level 3 (VAHTI-3) i.e. only authorized personnel with clearance are given access to it and there is continuous camera surveillance. All data is access controlled by passwords and individual-level authorization, and firewalled to university networks.

Aalto ITS data storage is directly integrated into Aalto’s sustainable computing environment. Storage is double-redundant and includes the possibility to roll back to previous points in time, with disaster recovery management. In addition to confidential data processing, there are multiple encrypted and/or audited storage environments for sensitive data processing. For IoT, Aalto ITS utilizes public cloud computing providers for case-specific construction of services. Aalto has IT infrastructure personnel, who can help researchers with building the relevant solution for the use case.

Focus on connectivity

Aalto researchers can use the Low Power Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN), a data network for Internet of things (IoT) devices with nationwide coverage, free of charge. Using this network, a device can send a small amount of data with minimal power which makes batteries last long. LoRaWAN is suitable for static and mobile sensors that are operated by batteries. Aalto IT services provide support and configure the network together with the user. In Finland, public mobile networks support also NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) technology.

Aalto campus area has a specific research environment for 5G connectivity, that can be used for developing and testing 5G technology and applications. On the campus area connectivity is ensured via a 100 Gbit/s fault-tolerant internet connection, 1 – 10 Gbit/s connections to workstations and servers, and extensive wireless coverage. Secure connectivity outside Aalto-campus is also possible by various technologies, e.g. VPN.

Research environment: research software engineers

The Aalto Research Software Engineer (RSE) team provides a specialized advice and service in research software, data, and computing so that any researcher can accomplish the best science without being held back by technological problems. Typical tasks including implementing a method bettor or faster than could otherwise be done, or ensuring that results are as open and reusable as possible so that the full impact of the work can be realized. RSE staff are professional researchers with years of experience in computational sciences, and work seamlessly with the rest of the Science-IT team. For the School of Science, basic services are included as part of overheads, or longer-term services can be funded from specific research projects.

Research software engineering services

(this text must be tuned to your grant, replace the parts in CAPITAL LETTERS)

This grant will make use of the Aalto Research Software Engineer program to hire high-quality TOPIC specialists. This program provides PhD-level personnel to work on THINGS, which allows the other staff on this project to focus on YYY. Research software engineers do not need to be independently recruited, and are available for consultation also before and after the project. This service is provided by Aalto Scientific Computing, which also provides high-performance computing resources for your project. The Research Software Engineering service is integrated into computing services as a consistent package.

(for basic service, for now only SCI) The service is available as a basic consulting service for free.

(for paid services) This project receives dedicated service from the Research Software Engineering group, funded as researcher salary from this grant. During this period, one of the Aalto research software engineers joins this project as a researcher, equal to all other project employees.

Other computing and IT solutions

Please note that the boilerplate texts for the computing solutions listed below are not about the Aalto Triton HPC cluster. Please familiarize with the Aalto cloud computing services and CSC services before you include them in your grant application. Please also refer to their terms of service and pricing if you need to mention these in your application.

Focus on cloud computing

Aalto University has agreements with major public cloud services (e.g. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (coming summer 2022) and Amazon Web Services (coming end of 2022)), and the platforms have been integrated into the Aalto digital environment in a secure and well-governed manner. The cloud provides scalable, collaborative, and integrated computing tooling with software for rapid iteration on data using for example machine learning or access to ready-made AI API’s for [YOUR TOPIC / IMAGE DETECTION / TEXT ANALYSES].

Aalto has private and secure network connectivity between on-premises environment and the cloud environments, and access is managed through a central identity management system. Expert staff provide solution consultation and hands-on support for end-user needs.

Focus on CSC

Aalto researchers have access to services from the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC), a government owned center which provides internationally high-quality ICT expert services. These services include multiple use-case specific components – such as containers, databases, HPC and machine-learning utilities - for storing and processing data. The CSC and Aalto services are connected through a high-speed Funet network (Finnish University and Research Network). The CSC coordinates the Finnish Grid and Cloud Infrastructure and has the largest known clusters in Finland.

CSC’s data center in Kajaani, Finland houses the pan-European pre-exascale supercomputer LUMI. This is one of the most eco-efficient data centers in the world. LUMI is using 100% hydro powered energy. The waste heat of LUMI will produce 20 percent of the district heat of the area and reduce the city’s annual carbon footprint by 12,400 tons. Further info at https://www.lumi-supercomputer.eu/sustainable-future/.

Focus on IT solution for remote and hybrid work

Aalto University provides IT solutions for remote and hybrid working. Secure digital workspaces for remote working are created through virtual and remote desktop infra and cloud tools, as well as online support and secure use of one’s own devices and applications. Aalto campus has specially designed (class)rooms with integrated and automated audiovisual technologies in support of hybrid meetings and teaching.