Software Application Environment Options for Faculty

Various options are available to UF faculty for gaining access, obtaining licenses, and executing various software applications in order to conduct in University business, each with special features to meet different use cases.  Faculty may use as many of these options as necessary in the course of conducting their business.  It is important to consider several factors in the selection of the storage type to be used (See Table below).

  1. The type of data that is being accessed (restricted, sensitive, open) – Faculty must be aware of the different data types, the policies, and responsibilities on the use the data. For example, data that contains Personal Identifiable information (PII) will require appropriate level of security, which is only provided when the software application is run on certain systems designed and managed for restricted data.
  2. The volume of data processed and compute power – Some application environments are designed for convenient use of applications on problems that require limited amount of data and compute capacity, primarily for short, interactive computations, other are optimized for long-running, complex computations on large data sets.
  3. Application type – Environments are designed and optimized for different types of applications: Operating system (Windows, Linux), different visualization, large memory, campus-licensed software, open-source software, software development.
  4. Cost – Some application environments are provided by the University at no cost to the faculty. Others, although subsidized, will require a fee for use or purchase of compute and storage capacity or software licenses. Fees generally apply to high-performance, high-capacity, and high-security systems.
  5. Management convenience – Environments are managed by UFIT staff. Some environments only offer a fixed slate of software, others can be customized at faculty request to run special software with the license cost, if applicable, paid by the faculty member, still others allow authorized developers to completely manage the software application.

Different options are listed in the table below:

Option Data Type & Security Data Volume Compute Power Application Type Cost Management Convenience
Desktop and laptop Only for desktops in HSC Limited by hardware Limited by hardware, interactive and long computation Any application supported by hardware and operating system College, Department for hardware, Fee for special license Managed by UFIT staff
UFApps for students No restricted data Homework size, limited by policy Homework problem-size interactive computation, limited by policy Windows applications with campus license Free Managed by UFIT staff
UFApps for faculty No restricted data Homework size, limited by policy Homework problem-size interactive computation, limited by policy Windows applications with campus license Free Managed by UFIT staff
UFApps for Research No restricted data Project-sized, limited by investment Limited by investment, interactive and long computation Windows applications, campus, open, licensed Fee for hardware and for special licenses Managed by UFIT staff, some application managed by authorized developers
HiPerGator No restricted data Project-sized, limited by investment Limited by investment, interactive and long computation Linux applications, campus, open, licensed, self-developed Fee for hardware and for special licenses System managed  by UFIT staff, self-developed applications self-managed
Vault/Shield Restricted data Project-sized, limited by investment Limited by investment, interactive and long computation Windows and Linux applications, campus, open, licensed, self-developed Fee for hardware and for special licenses Managed by UFIT staff, some application managed by authorized developers