Interactive Data Analytics Service Launched August 19

The Interactive Data Analytics Service (IDAS) is a high-performance computing (HPC) resource that supports large-scale and collaborative data analytics workflows involving RStudio for R and Jupyter Notebook for Python (but not limited to Python). IDAS features its own HPC and graphics processing units (GPUs) and allows users to perform interactive data analysis tasks with applications used for machine learning and other artificial intelligence workflows.

IDAS Jupyter Notebook serves both general research and classroom needs which were optimized this summer during its pilot phase. A dozen faculty and staff from six departments test-drove the research platform, and classroom attributes were trialed by students in Data Scientist Kang Lee's (ITS-Research Services) summer business analytics class.

While RStudio for classroom use is available, RStudio commercial licensing terms changed and pricing increased midstream as IDAS was being developed. Therefore, until a more affordable and dynamic license distribution method is available, we will proceed with the free RStudio classroom license. In the future, a remote desktop feature will be added. Users will also be able to access to the additional power of Iowa's Argon computing environment, and purchase commercially-available cloud compute cycles.

IDAS was the brainchild of former ITS Research Services Director Ben Rogers who formed the necessary collaborations and allocated funds to make his vision a reality. It was developed by Lee and Interactive Systems Lead Cody B. Johnson. "While ten other universities have similar environments, Iowa is one of the first to host a large-scale, cloud-enabled and expanded HPC resource," said Lee. "We're excited about the number of Iowa colleges and departments that engaged in our pilot, and some of the novel applications they're pursuing on IDAS," he added.

For more information, or to request an IDAS account, visit the ITS-Research Services Website.

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