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Computing Platforms

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First, some terminology: some of our computing platforms are managed (by the computing staff) while others are self-managed (by their users). We try to make DICE services usable from both. Support for computing platforms gives more details.

Managed platforms

Managed platforms are those which the School's computing staff manage on behalf of users.

DICE desktops and servers
DICE desktops and servers run a version of Scientific Linux and are managed using the School's own machine configuration technology (LCFG).

If you are a member of academic staff, or a research postgraduate, you will be provided with a DICE desktop by default.

All of the desktops in the teaching labs run DICE.

You will require a DICE account before you can log in to a DICE desktop.

All of the computing services that the School provides are run on servers running DICE.

Windows 7 Managed Desktop
Managed Desktops are Windows 7 PCs configured by the University's Information Services (IS) and managed locally. You will be provided with one of these if you are a member of the Admin staff, but other categories of staff can also ask for their desktop to use this platform.

Self-managed platforms

Self-managed machines are those which the user is responsible for looking after, whether laptop, desktop or server.

We have a policy for self-managed machines which lists the conditions you must adhere to when connected to the Informatics Network.

We have documentation on the following platforms:

Self-managed, rack-mounted servers can be installed in the self-managed server rooms housed in the Forum's basement.

Desktops: DICE or self-managed?

If you are a member of academic staff or a research postgraduate, you will be provided with a DICE desktop PC by default. However, if you prefer to run some other operating system on that desktop PC, you are at liberty to 'go self-managed' - that is, to reinstall the PC with any other operating system you are legally entitled to use - should you want to do so.

Likewise, if you have a self-managed desktop PC you can choose to revert to a DICE desktop.

In either case, please tell us what you need using the Computing Support Form so that our support team can arrange the necessary networking (etc.) changes.

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