Computing Resources

Columbia University has a large selection of computing resources available to researchers. For help deciding which option is best suited for you, or for general computing consulting please email to schedule an appointment. (Items noted in red below have an additional cost associated with them, otherwise all resources on this page are free to use for ISERP affiliates who have paid into the computing fee through a grant managed at ISERP)

CUIT Shared High Performance Computing:  Columbia's centrally-managed High Performance Computing (HPC) resources on the Morningside Campus offers a Linux-based compute cluster. ISERP, through the SSCC, has purchased a number of nodes and is available to all ISERP affiliates. See or email for more information.

CUIT LionMail Drive: When you create new documents using LionMail Drive, you typically create online Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Slides. These programs are collaborative tools that allow users to share files and documents with multiple users. There are also web-based editors to create drawings, forms and fusion tables. These online documents are tightly integrated with other Google Apps and provide very powerful real-time collaboration features.

Secure Data Enclave: Research Computing Services (RCS) manages a Secure Data Enclave (SDE) intended as a virtual environment used to work with secure data sets. This service has been in pilot and is expanding to full availability. 

Secure Data Cold Room: Researchers (including faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students) who need to work with restricted data sets (e.g. IES Database) have access to a cold room to work on this data. A cold room is separate from the master key, has a locked cabinet for storing physical medium (e.g. CD-ROMs), and the computer complies with secure computer requirements. (e.g. no internet, no access to USB drives, password protected, etc). Loading and unloading data must go through a Data Security Officer, currently Eric Vlach at ISERP. Please contact for information about this cold room, and to request access to it. Undergraduates must have a faculty sponsor to act as a Principal Project Officer. 

SSCC Virtual Servers: ISERP, through the SSCC, has a limited number of Linux virtual machines available if any of the other systems do not suit a particular researcher's needs. Please contact to explore option and create a fully customized server. 

CUIT Virtual Servers: (Additional cost, starting at $127/month for a small server with backup) CUIT offers a managed virtual machine environment with configurable Storage, Compute, Backup and Disaster Recovery options and will assume responsibility for management as outlined in the SLA. Configurations can be customized based on your needs and prices will reflect accordingly. See and go to Catalog, go to VirlualServer Hosting.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) through CUIT: (Additional cost, per resource used. Starting at $0.50/GB/Year) Amazon Web Services offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications. Costs will be comparable to AWS list price, however aggregation of all linked Columbia University AWS accounts under a single University billing account will allow for discounts that will be shared amongst all customers. Pricing plans begin at 20 GB of storage, for $10 a year. The cost of storage is the number of GB divided by 2 per year. For example, for 100 GB of storage costs $50/year, 200 GB of storage costs $100/year, and so on. Additionally, CUIT will implement an AWS Direct Connect private network peering will lead to reduced data egress rates and some additional technical capabilities. All AWS purchases should be done through CUIT. For more information regarding CUIT and AWS enterprise agreement, email For more information see


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