What specialized IT information can I include in my grant proposal?

Your grant proposal may include information about the Wayne State University Grid, the Researcher's Dashboard, and the available research networks. Summaries of each service are included below, with links to full descriptions and further information. For personal assistance, please contact Patrick Gossman.

Wayne State Grid

Wayne State University's (WSU) High Performance Computing Services Department develops, deploys, and maintains a centrally managed, scalable, Grid enabled computing system capable of storing and running research-related high performance computing (HPC) projects. The Grid infrastructure at WSU is designed to allow groups access to many options corresponding to the nature of the research being performed. The core Grid services are maintained by the University's central computing staff within the Computing and Information Technology (C&IT) Department.


The design called for the installation of three Kyoto Cooling air systems which cool the data center using outside air to cool a thermal wheel when ambient conditions are 63 degrees F or below. Above 63 degrees, stages of mechanical cooling are started to supplement the effectiveness of the thermal wheel up to 89 degrees when the system turns to 100% mechanical cooling. This system allows us to take advantage of the cost savings provided through ambient conditions for the majority of the year. Additionally, the UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system is rated at 98% efficient, which is 18% more efficient than the system used in the old data center. Electrically, a new substation powered through DTE was built to support the computing center complex. Specifications required two independent 13,200 volt feeders from separate utility substations that power two mirrored electrical rooms in the new data center. This configuration allows us to provide two distinct power sources to each computing rack to insure against the loss of power. In addition to the electrical systems installed, the Computing and Information Technology complex is backed up by a generator farm installed in 2012 that is capable of supporting the entire complex in the event of a total loss of utility power.

  • The WSU Data Center project was awarded a LEED silver rating by the US Green Building Council on July 24, 2020. The LEED certification identifies this design and construction as an energy and environmentally efficient project.
  • The new Data Center was built to a tier 3 cooling/tier 4 electrical standard. This means that the cooling system is redundant, and the electrical system is not only redundant but backed by a generator and UPS.
  • The completed Data Center complex is approximately 11,000 square feet with 4000 square foot of active computing floor space, 2000 square foot of floor space prepped for future expansion, and 5000 square foot of mechanical, electric, and support space.


The Grid is comprised of clusters available for general use, with the option of preemption available to the owners of the clusters, as well as separate clusters dedicated to specific research groups. These clusters utilize a mix of high-speed 10GB ethernet and 100Gb Infiniband networks. The Grid currently has a combined processing power of around 12,000 compute cores, 110 TB of RAM, 3PB of disk space, and 128 GPU.


WSU's Grid utilizes Linux as the operating system and is currently installed with OpenHPC and CentOS. These resources are managed by SchedMD 's Slurm job scheduler, which allows researchers to access different networks and architectures using a standard and simple command set. This software suite provides a suitable framework for developing and deploying Grid based applications and performing Grid based research at WSU. WSU also maintains software agreements and site license contracts with many vendors and actively uses these agreements to provide software at a reduced cost to research groups on campus.


WSU employs a full-time staff dedicated to maintaining Grid resources and supporting systems. These highly trained and educated professionals assist research groups with integrating their work into the WSU Grid. This central staff ensures that independent research groups are still operating within the parameters set forth by the University as a whole and that best practices are followed by all researchers on campus involved with HPC. The staff works closely with research groups to minimize installation time, and to ensure a high return on investment when working with computing hardware that can depreciate quickly.


The WSU Grid implements two NFS attached parallel storage systems to house critical research data in a secure, scalable system that can grow to meet the demands of the Grid. The current configuration consists of two Panasas ActiveStor systems with around 3PB of highly redundant usable storage. The Panasas represents the latest in technology with a possible 10Gb/s throughput per chassis, object RAID assigned per file with fast reconstruction times, and a per chassis battery backup system. All critical research data on the Grid is backed up live to an archival disk array.

Campus Network

A 10 Gigabit Ethernet core fiber backbone connecting over 100 buildings (1Gigabit Ethernet links) composes WSU's primary network infrastructure. This state-of-the-art, high-speed network allows researchers at WSU to connect to our central Grid services over a reliable, fast, secure network and guarantees the availability of decentralized grid components, regardless of their physical location on campus. The current network is scalable to 10 gigabits/sec and presently contains Juniper MX240 gigabit routers and CISCO 6500E series electronics.

The Grid is connected to the Michigan LambdaRail. MiLR (pronounced MY-larr) is a very high-speed, special purpose data network built jointly by Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University and operated by the Merit Network. MiLR provides campus researchers with low-cost, 10 Gbps Ethernet connections between the three university campuses and to national and international research and education connection points in Chicago. Work is underway to upgrade MiLR to 100 Gigabit speeds. Access to the MiLR network is available on campus by connecting to the WSU Science DMZ network.

Security and Authentication

WSU uses Sun Microsystems's LDAP directory system for central authentication to all Grid resources. This central production system is maintained by a full-time staff and is used for many other systems on campus, such as email, library systems, general computing labs, student records, and registration. This central authentication system provides a secure way to ensure that only appropriate users can access the Grid, and their respective data. WSU is also a founding member of Merit Networks, which provides connectivity to all state-run universities in Michigan.

Researcher's Dashboard

The Researcher's Dashboard is an easy-to-use and intuitive tool that streamlines and enhances the pre-award and post-award grant processes for researchers and administrators, providing a secure, easily accessible gateway to researchers' proposals and grant information. Learn more at https://kb.wayne.edu/266768.

Research Networks

  • MiLR High Performance Research Network: Michigan LamdaRail is a high-speed special-purpose data network founded by Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan. MiLR provides as many as 40 separate 10 Gbps Ethernet connections between Ann Arbor, Chicago, Detroit, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.
  • Internet2 Advanced Networking: Enables the development of advanced internet applications and the deployment of leading-edge network services to more than 300 Internet2 universities, organizations, and research labs across the country. Necessary scalability for member institutions to efficiently provision resources to address bandwidth-intensive requirements, such as collaborative applications, distributed research experiments, grid-based data analysis, and social networking.

Science DMZ: A network architecture designed for high-performance applications, where the science network is separate from the general-purpose network. The use of end-to-end, bump-free paths via dedicated systems for deterministic data transfers. Performance measurement and network testing systems to characterize and test the network regularly. Security policies and enforcement mechanisms that are tailored for high-performance science environments.