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Labs & Computing Facilities

The School of Computer Science runs its own computer network and set of servers in a dedicated and separate facilty on campus. Computer Science majors, researchers, faculty and staff use this facility as the basis for their programming. Specialized research computers are connected to this network at up to 10 Gbps (fibre and copper), and the School's network is connected to the Internet and high-performance research networks.

We also manage a separate wireless network spread accross three buildings.  These networks and servers are designed and run by developers for application and system development.  Our policies are more relaxed and suited for an academic department.

Computer Science Systems

A collection of high-end servers forms the basis of our computing facilty. The servers are connected to a redundant power system and isolated from hydro outages.  The servers are in an air-conditioned secure room. We are constantly upgrading our servers and other operating systems.  We are running the following environments:

  • Debian 8 multi-user computers that connect with hundreds of desktops.  We are using thin clients in our labs that connect using the LTSP protocol.  We currently have three physical servers dedicated to this environment with load balancing rules in place for distribution. The remote desktops can also be accessed using the NoMachine client.
  • Virtual server environments hosted by Proxmox.  We have a cluster that supports both Lunix containers and KVM images.
  • Virtual server and virtual desktop envronment hosted by VMware vSphere.  This cluster automatically distributes VM's to the various nodes (Nutanix).  We also deploy standard and customized virtual Windows desktops for users through the Unidesk system.
  • Centralized file storage. A specialized cluster is fully redundant and data is mirrored within the disk arrays and between the cluster nodes. The 7410 provides data services through a variety of network interfaces including NFS, CIFS, SFTP and WebDAV.

In addition the School maintains specialized servers to handle: Oracle database (mutli-tenant) MySQL database servers (available through DirectAdmin shared hosting manager), data backup servers, media servers, PC support servers and special Web servers.

We also run a PC-based network for mutli-media applications.

Services for Computer Science Users

The School of Computer Science operates many specialized services for users.  Most systems can be accessed via your UWinID and password.  For PC-based services, and Oracle database services, you will need to create a new account through http://cs.uwindsor.ca/password

  • Team Foundation Server
    A Sharepoint-based source code control and project management system that interfaces with Visual Studio.
  • CSPC1 Domain Profiles
    When you create your CSPC1 domain account, a roaming profile is created for you.  This means that your Desktop and Documents library are stored on a server and not the lab PC.  You can access your CSPC1 Domain files via ssh at zulu.cs.uwindsor.ca
  • projects.cs.uwindsor.ca
    A git-based project server with redmine for issue tracking.
  • Oracle Database Server
  • Standard LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) shared hosting servers, controlled with the Web-based DirectAdmin control panel

Remote Linux Desktops

Most users connect to the  servers through over one hundred thin client devices located throughout the School. These Debian-based devices provide a high-resolution window system (MATE) to users over LTSP. A full suite of applications are installed on the servers for use, with some applications seamlessly running local to the machine for increased network performance. Available applications include: Eclipse, LibreOffice, Matlab, Maple, Programming Languages (LISP, Prolog, Haskell, C++, Java, Miranda).

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (Windows)

A VMware cluster with Unidesk provides up to 100 concurrent virtual Windows deskops, with pre-installed applications. Users can connect with their CSPC1 domain accounts through the Horizon View system.  By default, these desktops are non-persistent and users are not given administrative access. Persistent desktops with administrator access may be provided on a case-by-case basis.

Special-Purpose Virtual Servers

A wide array of special-purpose servers is available to host various development environments as needed.  These servers are virtualized using a Proxmox cluster and a VMware cluster.

Microsoft Windows Services

A large Windows-based server runs the major Microsoft services, including: SharePoint, IIS, Apache and PHP, Microsoft SQL and Team Foundation Server.  Active Directory services are also employed and there is a one-to-one mapping between Windows domain accounts and UWinID's.

Computing Labs

The School operates four general purpose labs for undergraduate students. Each lab is open different hours throughout the year, and each lab accommodates between 25 and 30 users. The PC lab only has 14 installed workstations, with room for more.

Location Description Phone Ext Comments
3119 Erie Hall thin client workstations, arranged in a classroom style 2998 two projectors, three rows of desks, all forward facing
3150 Erie Hall thin client workstations and group work tables. 3784 drop-in lab
3107 Lambton Tower multimedia PC workstations with Xbox 360 consoles 3875 Large screen monitors on Xbox consoles, dual-monitor displays on PC's
305 West Leddy Library thin client workstations 3188 south facing windows, work tables along north wall for network gear testing

Graduate students and researchers are spread out through the third floor of Erie Hall with special computer and work labs.

  • Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning and Bio-informatics Lab (3152 Erie Hall)
  • Parallel and Meta Computing Systems Software Lab (3151 Erie Hall)
  • Optical Communications Lab (3144 Erie Hall)
  • High Performance and Grid Computing Lab (3144 Erie Hall)
  • Warehousing, Object-Oriented and Databases Lab (3142 Erie Hall)
  • Computational and Grid Computing Lab (3140 Erie Hall)
  • Software Engineering Lab (3139 Erie Hall)
  • Vision Group (3130 Erie Hall)
  • AI Research Group (3133 Erie Hall)
  • Algorithms, Speech Processing and Advanced Research Techniques Lab (268 Dillion Hall)
  • AI Research Lab (3124 Erie Hall)