Latest Updates

Research Computing and HMS-IT have put in place plans to support your research.  As non-essential staff, Research Computing staff are working remotely.  Research Computing provides: support, consultation, training, operations, and service innovation. We are modifying some practices as part of our institutional COVID-19 response.  

Support

Research Computing will continue to use the online STAT (ServiceNow) system to manage and track support requests and issues.  Research Computing staff have forwarded their office phones to cell or home phones, so calls will go directly to them as they work remotely.  All Research Computing staff have Zoom accounts and will use Zoom sessions to work collaboratively to resolve support issues, in collaboration with CSG, DevOps, and Infrastructure.  Continue to request support through these existing channels.  

Consultation 

Like Support, consultations will continue to leverage STAT for request management, and we will use Zoom for collaborative work.  Research Computing will move office hours to ‘Virtual Office Hours’ using Zoom sessions.  Continue to request consultations through existing channels.

Training 

Research Computing will move all trainings to online training, using Zoom as the virtual meeting venue.  

Operations 

RC IT Operations will be running daily standup meetings and other operational coordination and response meetings to Zoom sessions.  Continue to request operational support through existing channels. 

HMS-IT infrastructure is being enhanced to support remote research.  HMS-IT currently has 250 licenses for its VPN software.  In anticipation of additional needs, HMS-IT is purchasing an enterprise license agreement of unlimited licenses to be made available to Quad researchers.  Should additional traffic through the VPN gateway result in unacceptable performance, we will implement per-connection bandwidth limits. Should this not be acceptable, we will upgrade the gateway hardware with higher capacity equipment. Those wanting a VPN license, or having questions or problems regarding VPNs, can contact the IT Service Desk for support at itservicedesk@hms.harvard.edu or 617-432-2000.   

VPN

The HMS VPN system is designed for secure remote access and management.  As part of the COVID-19 response, it is getting much higher use.  It cannot, and was not designed, to support large data transfers. We have other tools for that, which are listed at:  https://wiki.rc.hms.harvard.edu/display/O2/File+Transfer

Due to the time sensitive needs to manage operations and research remotely, HMS-IT will stop any large data transfers that are impacting the VPN system and will reach out to provide other methods for transferring those data.  In this way, we can maintain remote work while still supporting research most efficiently.

How to Contact Us 

Contact and Support Information 

Research Computing has an engagement plan for supporting research: