Introducing the New RCE

February 28, 2014

The Harvard-MIT Data Center at IQSS is proud to announce the next major version of the Research Computing Environment.

The RCE offers a centralized place in which to store data, and collaborate on social science research analysis. The newest version is a major overhaul of the environment, making new software and tools available to our users. Known as RCE6, it is based on Enterprise Linux 6, and built on a new Puppet infrastructure to allow for flexible configuration and rapid feature updates.

RCE6 introduces Software Collections, a highly requested feature of the RCE. SCL is a tool for switching between multiple versions of the same software seamlessly, and allowing us to maintain those versions in harmony. In this initial release, we are offering Python 2.6, 2.7 and 3.3.

HTCondor 8 is responsible for delegating user-submitted jobs based on resources requested by the user. This new version includes updates for interactive jobs, job sandboxing, and a new native Python API, amongst several other new tools.

Other software updates include:

  • R 3.0
  • Matlab 2013a
  • RStudio
  • Stata 13
  • SAS 9.3
  • Gauss 8
  • Mathematica 9
  • Emacs 24
  • LibreOffice 3.4
  • Firefox 17
  • Chromium 31

Mac and Linux users can continue using the OpenNX client to access the RCE, while Windows users should use NoMachine 3.5, available upon request.

Users can connect to the RCE from their office, start an analysis, disconnect, and then reconnect to the same session and analysis process from another computer. Every RCE account comes with access to various cluster computing resources, and a file server complete with access controls that enable users to collaborate with other researchers. All data is backed up regularly and can be downloaded via secure file transfer when needed. To acquire an RCE account, please contact us so we can discuss your resource needs in more detail.

Read about technical considerations on our Moving to RCE6 page.