Joshua Slade

Joshua SladeWhat areas of Research Computing do you work with here at Syracuse University?

Primarily the Academic Virtual Hosted Environment, or AVHE

What other responsibilities do you have on the SU campus?

I am the technical lead for the virtual and backup infrastructure for campus. We have almost 3,000 virtual machines as of October 2015.

How did you get started in Research Computing?

My role is to support and engineer IT infrastructure, so naturally when a need grew for researchers to deploy research virtual machines and have them backed up, I was eager to help bring a solution forward.

What do you find most interesting about Research Computing?

Research Computing workload is an apples-to-oranges comparison to typical academic and business IT workloads. Research Computing has brought significant new technical challenges to the infrastructure. Each challenge is interesting to work on because as we learn how to solve them, we gain a huge amount of knowledge that can often be directly applied to our core IT infrastructure.

What’s the biggest misconception about RC or HPC in general?

That it needs 100% resource utilization 24/7/365. After watching workloads for the past several years, I have learned that Research Computing is very cyclical. This is a perfect fit virtualization, as multiple researchers can share the same physical resource.

If you could give RC users one piece of advice what would it be?

Do not hesitate to ask questions!