Today’s global work environment can require researchers to access work at varying times of day — from home, secondary offices, or even from other countries. CAC offers a secure and convenient way for users to take advantage of the lab’s tools and resources anytime, anywhere, with a secure portal that can be accessed using Java and a web browser.
The CAC portal is easy to use and a great way to access user support specialists on coding or programming issues. Once users have set up an account through the CAC office, a connection to the lab is available through a web browser. “The portal allows researchers to work at home or abroad without having to install specialty software or go through a complicated process,” says CAC Research Computing Security Officer Costa Dafnas. “It provides a secure global desktop with all the data and resources at your fingertips.” Because the data is located on CAC servers, users can see the information they need without requiring the hardware to house it.
The portal also allows users to customize and organize their front page, so that applications can easily be accessed from one area. Discipline-related programs can be grouped and placed alongside other administrative or computing resources for convenient use during sessions.
One of the key benefits of the portal is the ability to connect in real time with lab staff for help with coding or programming. CAC staff create a shadow system with the user to view the current session and provide input. “The shared session is completely secure, and lets us work through any problems together,” says Dr. Hartmut Schmider, Manager, Scientific Computing Support. “It gives users immediate answers, no matter where they are located.” Currently, the lab has four computing specialists who work with researchers to improve, install and run their codes on the CAC facilities.