SSDS Usage Policies

SSDS Usage Policies

The SSDS Usage Policy provides the guidelines under which SSDS resources may be used and it is the responsibility of all users to read and understand the policy. The SSDS Usage Policy is an addition to the general information technology policies established by the University of California system as well as those policies specific to the University of California, Davis (iet.ucdavis.edu/policies).

SSDS Computing Policy

All Division of Social Science faculty members and graduate students may request an account on the SSDS systems by completing the appropriate online registration form.

Anyone requesting an SSDS account must obtain a University of California, Davis, loginID prior to requesting their SSDS account (https://computingaccounts.ucdavis.edu).

Account Usage

SSDS accounts are granted to individual users and as such only that individual is authorized to use SSDS resources. Allowing unauthorized users to make use of your SSDS accounts are grounds for the immediate suspension of all SSDS services.

Dormant accounts represent a considerable security risk to the integrity of computer systems. As such, SSDS staff will monitor account usage, and any account that is inactive for 30 days will be disabled to prevent possible unauthorized use. Users may request reactivation of the account in person, or via e-mail. Deactivated accounts will be removed and all files deleted on November 1 of each calendar year unless a request for reactivation has been received.

Users are responsible for copying files from the SSDS system prior to account deletion. SSDS staff will provide all reasonable assistance to users who need to copy their files to removable media but cannot held responsible for archiving or retrieving data for disabled accounts.

Acceptable Use of Disk Space

Files stored on SSDS systems should be related to research or instruction only. SSDS systems may not be used to backup files from other systems (e.g. departmental personal computers). All users are allocated a set amount of disk space for file storage on the SSDS systems. Users receive an initial quota of 10 GB.  More space is available upon request.

The SSDS staff conducts regular backups of user data files. The primary purpose of the backups is to insure that all data can be recovered in the event of a catastrophe, such as a hardware failure. Users are encouraged to make additional copies of important data files to removable media.

Security and Confidentiality

The SSDS staff endeavors to provide a secure computing environment by implementing appropriate security measures. However, due to the nature of the SSDS shared computer environment, data that requires a guarantee of confidentiality should not be stored on the SSDS systems.

Termination of the Accounts

SSDS account holders agree to inform SSDS staff when leaving the University or an SSDS constituent department. The account of those users no longer affiliated with an SSDS constituent department will be removed and all files deleted from the system 30 days after change of status unless arrangements are made with SSDS staff.

On request, SSDS staff will assist users in archiving their files to removable media or otherwise transferring them to another system. An extension of account privileges may be made for an additional 6 months.

SSDS Services

The following sections outline the computing related services provided by SSDS. If account holders need a service that is not listed here, they are encouraged to contact SSDS staff.

Software

SSDS will attempt to provide the most current, stable version of all software that it supports. In some cases, the most recent version may be deemed unstable, in which case it may be provided as a test version.

In addition to supported software, SSDS will endeavor to provide other software that is generally useful to members of its constituent departments. SSDS staff will install and configure the software and ensure that it is functional, but the users should not expect to receive assistance in using it.

General purpose software, such as programming languages, and software that is considered a system utility will also be maintained and supported.

SSDS Consulting and Support Policy

SSDS staff provides consultation and support to users on all aspects of general SSDS system usage including questions dealing with system or account administration and statistical and mathematical applications. SSDS staff may be able to help users with other information technology and general research questions as resources permit.

In general, support for non-SSDS desktop computers, general computing questions, and questions on services provided by other on-campus units should be directed to departmental computing-support personnel, or to the Information and Education Technology (IET) support personnel.

University of California, Davis-affiliates not associated with the SSDS member departments may request access to SSDS services on a provisional basis but only as resources permit.

Shared Research Computing Guidelines

In order to insure that users at the SSDS can complete their research, please adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Users should keep in mind that these servers are shared resources, and their activities may affect other users. The more jobs you execute, the fewer resources are available to others on the system. Whenever possible, please run your jobs sequentially instead of simultaneously. In most cases, users should not be running more than one job at a time.
  • Stata memory management is such that users must have contiguous memory space to execute their jobs (unlike other statistical and mathematical applications). Stata users therefore should not use more memory than necessary. In the past, we have not placed limits on Stata memory allocation because many users need large amounts for large data problems. If Stata users minimize the number of jobs they run and the amount of memory they allocate, we can continue with this policy.
  • Under UNIX, jobs that take more than an hour to run should be niced to make sure they share resources well with shorter jobs. If you prefix your commands with "nice" (e.g. "nice nohup stata test.prg &"), your job will not use a disproportionate amount of resources.
  • Large data sets should be compressed when not in use. The UNIX "gzip" command can be used to compress data in order to maximize disk space. Disk space has not been a problem, but as usage increases so will demand for space. Large inactive files can be archived to DVDs by the SSDS upon request. Under Windows, files should only temporarily be loaded on local disk space, and the U: home drive should be used for long term storage.

If you need help or recommendations concerning these guidelines, please contact John Daniels, the SSDS statistical programming consultant.