With the new Faculty structure we need to look at how we provide support for research, teaching and learning and general IT support. Had a very good meeting this morning with the Faculty of Engineering which was initially set up to discuss research support. We provide a central High Throughput Computer facility, which we provide funding for initial pump priming. Departments can then buy additional services such as compute power, processing time etc. We also know that there are various clusters of research machines around campus, some very well looked after in purpose built machine rooms, some running in corners of labs. What we were investigating this morning was whether, if we were provided with additional funding, (from research grants,) we could take over the support of some of these servers and services. We also looked at what services would be better provided locally where specialist skills were needed, what could be provided by a support team at Faculty level, and what would be better provided centrally by us.
Although the discussion began by looking at research, we also touched on general IT support and teaching support – especially departmental run open access computer rooms, and whether these would be better run as part of our general provision. Very positive discussion, and lots to do now to investigate and cost the various options.