The Berkeley Lab Technology Toolkit is what we call the set of services we provide for every employee at the Lab at no recharge. We try to make sure that the most important services everyone needs are covered as part of the Toolkit. Here’s an overview of what’s in the toolkit (aka funded by overhead or sometimes direct funding, but not recharge). This isn’t a completely exhaustive list - to learn more about any of these services including their funding model, visit it.lbl.gov.
A fast, flat, wall to wall network optimized for scientific data flows and visitor and employee wifi are included with no ongoing charges, bandwidth charges, or bandwidth limitations. Special services like virtual circuits between institutions are also included. If a new network drop, initial building wiring, or a new access point is required, these are recharged for installation, but there are no ongoing charges for network access.
The library, research databases, and electronic journals are all provided to all staff - the same ones available to faculty at UC Berkeley. Interlibrary loan requests may have an associated recharge, but all electronic resources are availalbe to all. The library proxy, elinks, and fast book/article delivery from UCB are all included in the Toolkit.
Core productivity and collaboration services are all provided for all. The entire Google Apps Suite, which includes 25GB email, calendar, docs, storage (drive), sites, and more is available to all employees. This combination of services provides an excellent baseline for small to medium size collaborations for shared files, external and internal websites, and collaborator management. Mailing lists via lists.lbl.gov and Google Groups are both provided, as well as extension tools like Smartsheets for simple project management. 1:1 and multi-person video conferencing are also available via Google Apps. Space on the institutional wiki Commons is also available at no recharge. If you’re developing code - version control and issue tracking services are also available at no recharge. Software for managing and promoting scientific conferences is also included (Indico).
With Google Drive, you can store files of any kind in a synced folder across computers - up to 5GB provided as part of your Google Account. All employees also have access to CIFS (Windows file services) for server-based mounted storage at no recharge.
Site licensed software is available to all via software.lbl.gov, including antivirus software for all plaforms, virtual private networking (VPN), and security software like bigfix and identify finder. Non-site licensed software is available via recharge/passthrough, and employees generally benefit from excellent negotiated rates on these packages, thanks to overhead funded resources who search out and negotiate great laboratory pricing on software.
Cyber security monitoring, vulnerability scanning, consulting, training, and incident management are all provided at no recharge. While securing systems is an individual/group responsibility, these monitoring, coordination, and consulting services are all provided to all. In fact, Berkeley Lab runs of one of the most sophisticated "science-friendly" cyber security programs around - numerous layers of production are in place, but all are designed to let researchers collaborate, experiment, and test without undue burden or interruption.
Your Berkeley Lab Identity username and password, and your active directory account (and all the infrastructure behind them) are all provided at no recharge. Your Berkeley Lab Identity can even be used to authenticate to services at other institutions via federated identity. In addition, a one time password service and gateway service are provided at no charge to help protect scientific systems from the treat of compromised credentials.
There is never a charge for calling the helpdesk with an IT-related question. From basic office app issues to password resets, to help with collaborative tools, the helpdesk can answer most questions and find someone to help if they can’t. Recharges may apply if a tech needs to be dispatched to work on your computer if you don’t have local technical support and aren’t already supported by IT Division.
Scientific records archiving is provided at no cost for research records. Staff will even come out and process your scientific records for free.
IT provides a program of training courses geared to both scientists and administrative staff. These include everything from introductory courses on the Google Apps Suite, to specialty courses on scientific programming in Python, to courses on approaches to software project management. In addition, the lab provides resources to support user communities around software development (coders) cyber security (cycom) Apple products (mug), and Google (gug).
There are lots of other services, like mail hygiene and routing, DNS services, reference services, publication management, and more that are also included, but the ones above are the big ones.
Visit the IT Services page to learn more about any of these services. And if you have any questions about how services are funded, where you money goes, or have suggestions for us, drop us a line at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
In FY13, IT will launch the first iteration of the Scientific CoLo service, where scientific divisions can receive a modest amount of server-room space in Building 50 at no charge. Also in FY13, IT will launch new tools for video conferencing, which will also be included in the Toolkit.