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IT Department improves Infrastructure

Jan 10, 2014

The IT department has once more improved the infrastructure of the Cluster. After acquiring new servers for large-scale database projects, it moved thousands of folders and files during the public holidays. The operations, coordinated by Network and Systems Manager Matthias Kirchner, were completed early this year.

In total, the IT department moved about 44.7 terabyte of data. In particular, the four Research Areas and five Cluster professorships had collected a large amount of files during their research in the past years. But also all data of the Graduate Programme and the Cluster's Administration had to be moved from one server to another.

Previously, the IT department had installed the six servers at the University Computer Centre (URZ) at Neuenheimer Feld in Heidelberg. Two of the servers are now used by the IT, providing one fileserver, one server for the OCR Text recognition system and other services. The storage capacities of the new fileserver have been more than doubled from 40 to 96 Terabyte. The other four servers are provided for the database projects of the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA). Besides, the HRA will use the 12 old servers as test systems for their projects. The total cost for the new servers amount 70.000 Euros. The purchase of new servers supplies a guaranty for 5 years and 24 hours technical support service in case of problems with the devices.

The Cluster’s IT department is a central back office located in the Karl Jaspers Centre. It is headed by Matthias Kirchner, Network and Systems Manager at the Cluster “Asia and Europe”, together with Sven Eigler. The IT department is mainly responsible for the technical supervision and maintenance of the servers. Furthermore, they offer a wide range of services and provide a smooth operation and support of various tools.

Under the umbrella of the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA) , IT scientists, software developers, database architects, academically trained professionals in e-learning as well as IT support staff collaborate with researchers and students at the Cluster to form an integrated digital humanities environment for interdisciplinary and internationally distributed studies of transcultural dynamics. The researchers work mainly on metadata frameworks providing a variety of databases with digitalized sources ranging from different media types as texts, images, films and audio.


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  • IT staff installing the server

  • The new fileserver (Images: Sven Eigler and Matthias Kirchner)