Looking for Hardware Specs and Recommendations

Greeting LSST Community!

This is Mark Pitts from Eastern Kentucky University. I am in the midst of putting together a computer lab space for the purpose of getting undergrads directly involved with working with LSST data. I have been given up to $10k with which to purchase new hardware, and so I am looking for recommendations from the community:

Are there any specific spec ranges for GPU, hard drive space, RAM, etc. that would make working with the upcoming LSST data easier or more convenient?
Are there any brands you have found to be particularly reliable and/or have good customer service?

Jeff Carlin suggested I ask about this topic on this forum, so I very much appreciate any thoughts you may have.


LSST data is available in a “bring your code to the data” model due to its extreme size (500 PB). Data rights holders (which US university students are) will use the Rubin Science Platform, for free, which provides server-side access to the data using a web browser and web APIs.

If I was setting up a lab, I’d be looking for excellent connectivity and really nice large monitors.


Dear Mark,

I agree with @frossie : the whole setup for Rubin operations is for data rights holders is to “bring your code to the data” via the Rubin Science Platoform (RSP); so hardware requirements for the end should be pretty minimal. As @frossie suggests, “excellent connectivity and really nice large monitors” would be most useful for such a lab.

By the way, on a separate matter, I know of several programs in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri who are also thinking of getting undergrads directly involved with working with LSST data. Let me know if you are interested, and I can maybe get you connected with them. It might make for an interesting regional collaborative effort!


Best regards,

PS: Mark, if you haven’t already done so, you might wish to sign up yourself and a student or so for Rubin Science Platform (RSP) access to the simulated Rubin LSST Data Preview 0.2. More info on DP0.2 and the RSP can be found at https://dp0-2.lsst.io/dp0-delegate-resources/index.html

That was the impression I got from the virtual summer school sessions last June, so I appreciate the confirmation. Good to know I don’t need to overspend on any monster rigs. :slight_smile:

Sure, that sounds great!

Yep, did so for the virtual school back in June, but I appreciate the notification.

Hi Mark, I wanted to chime in that I agree with Frossie. I have my undergraduates often work from their laptops! But, if they don’t have their laptop, we have a small computer lab that uses mac mini’s and really large screens :slightly_smiling_face:


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Thanks for the info! Yeah, definitely will get some large monitors for the new lab then. :slight_smile: