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 available to use at no additional cost 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. In addition to Google products, you can store other shared or personal files in LionMail Drive. You can even have dropbox-like syncing functionality by installing Drive File Stream. All sensitive & confidential data (such as PII) MUST be encrypted before storing in LionMail drive. 

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 is approved by the IRB as a certified server for even the highest security data granting agency requirements. The SDE provides Columbia researchers with a secure, remotely accessible, virtual Windows 10 desktop environment to store and collaboratively analyze PII and PHI data as an alternative to traditional "cold room" computing environments. See more details on the CUIT webpage here.

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. 

Columbia Data Platform: (Additional cost, between $5-$150/TB/month depending on data archive tier & data type) Cloud-based solution for research data storage, discovery, analysis, collaboration and archive. Certified for the highest level of security with a CUIT system ID, the Data Platform simplifies storage & analysis of data by integrating software such as python jupyter notebooks; visual data filtering & merging; and more. 

Electronic Lab Notebook - LabArchives: A cloud-based data management software, Electronic lab notebooks are designed to replace paper books, manuals, field research, and data repositories. LabArchives enables collaboration between group members regardless of physical location. If you work with confidential or sensitive data, including personally identifiable data or health information, LabArchives is a great option to look into. As a CUMC security certified system (ID 5644), LabArchives enables central cloud storage and sharing of data of the highest sensitivity. Accounts are provided by the libraries and CUIT at no additional cost - visit to get started, select sign in, then Columbia University from the participating institution list. If you'd like to discuss with ISERP if LabArchives could be useful in your research and data collection, reach out to to schedule an appointment. 

Qualtrics: Faculty and Graduate students under ISERP's umbrella can request a qualtrics account under our site license. Qualtrics is a web-based software that allows users to create surveys and generate reports without any previous programming knowledge. This is a powerful tool for collecting data, running experiments, getting feedback, and user polls using a variety of distribution means. Please fill out this form to request an account. 

SFTP Server: Faculty and Graduate students who need an SFTP account for data transfer between parties can request a temporary, 30-day SFTP account with us. SFTP accounts will expire after 30 days, after which all data will be deleted (an extension can be requested.) You will get a server address, username, and password to share with your parties. Servers are protected by strict firewalls, only approved IP addresses can connect. Disk space up to 10GB is automatically approved. Please fill out this form to request a new account or extend an existing one. 

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.) 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 among 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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