CPHA and the Duke Office of Technology developed virtual computing resources specifically tailored for population science students and researchers. These resources include software templates and instructions for utilizing Duke’s virtual computing architecture. The software templates are built on Duke’s Research Toolkits architecture and can be configured on-demand through a simple online interface. The machines are ready in minutes and provide high-speed and multi-threaded capabilities to aid big data analyses. Research scholars and affiliates can create shared machines that facilitate collaboration and combine resources for increased computing power.
The Virtual Machines (VMs) come pre-installed with software for data analysis, including R, Stata and network analysis software. Optional software is available to install through a simple GUI. Also available for faculty and students is a shared machine that provides increased computation (12 CPU cores, 128 GB RAM) and specialized software that uses parallel processing.
In addition to VMs, CPHA offers resources for cloud computing training and instructions for using Duke’s virtual computing resources, including training on how to access Duke VMs, Amazon Web Services EC2 servers and Google Cloud Platform VMs. Also available are tutorials, code and data that present use cases and highlight the benefits of virtual computing and parallel processing.