Securing Access to Shared Resources

Northwestern University Center for Advanced Microscopy
Northwestern University Center for Advanced Microscopy

Northwestern University’s Shared and Core Facilities Office is responsible for helping to manage hundreds of important pieces of scientific instrumentation. Researches from all across the globe come to NU to study and experiment in fields as wide ranging as Energy, Material Science, and Genomics. Allocating and scheduling in each of these facilities is a challenge shared by administrators in each of NU’s core facilities and central administration.

A key challenge for these administrators is insuring that researchers properly log in and allocate funding from their projects for the equipment they use. To prevent unauthorized use of these expensive machines, Aaron Rosen in Core Facilities Administration turned to Dataprobe to assist.

Using a combination of Dataprobe’s Ethernet IO manager, model iPIO-8 and Dataprobe’s Power Switch, model iBoot-IO, Rosen was able to create a system to keep instruments powered off, until users were properly authorized and logged in. By integrating existing core scheduling systems with the iPIO-8 protocol, Rosen was able to immediately power up systems as soon as proper credentials were presented to the system. The system powers down the equipment as soon as the user has completed their work.

“We’re using Dataprobe relays to control access to equipment in some of our core laboratories”, says Rosen “In concert with command and control software, a Dataprobe iPIO-8 box and a number of iBoot-IO’s ensure that users will login to their reservations before beginning their experiments.”

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