Using ABACUS at LSE

Introduction

ABACUS provides multi-server computing environment for research data analysis for Staff and research students at LSE. Each of the servers has 32 Gb RAM with two quad-core processors and a large disk array is available to hold your data for analysis.

ABACUS runs with the Windows 2008 server operating system and currently has the following statistical applications installed:

  • STATA 11 MP2 (64 bit)
  • MATLAB 2012a (64 bit)
  • SAS 9.2 (64bit)
  • GAUSS 9.01 (32 bit)
  • Maple 17 (64 bit)
  • SPSS 21 (64 bit)
  • R 3.01 (64 bit)

Other applications and possible 64 bit versions will also follow in due course.

Register to use ABACUS

  1. To register for an account to access ABACUS (LSE Workspace), complete the online form 

An account will be created for you within 5 working days and you will be notified by email when it is ready to use.

Logging into ABACUS

You will be able to login to ABACUS using your normal LSE username and password

Accessing ABACUS

Access is by remote desktop either on or off campus.

If you are unfamiliar with accessing a remote desktop, please check the IMT guides for the LSE Remote Desktop| 

If you are trying to connect to ABACUS off-campus make sure you have the latest Remote Desktop Client - KB969084|.

To access ABACUS:

  1. Start the Remote Desktop Connection
  2. In the Computer field, type beads.lse.ac.uk
  3. Click Connect
  4. Enter your LSE username and password when prompted.
    Note: your username should be prefaced with LSE\. For example, lse\bloggsj

Remote Desktop Connection Dialog box

It will take a few seconds to set up your profile on the remote desktop. Once your profile is created, you will havean S:\ drive mapped with an appropriate quota limit set up. The S:\ drive is your ABACUS file storage area. 

To transfer data from your PC to ABACUS for analysis

Note: You will need to copy over any prepared data sets to ABACUS  while you are on campus at the LSE. You will be unable to copy files over when you are at home.

  1. To copy files over when on campus, map any free data drive letter (preferably S:\) to "\\abacusstorage\first letter of your username\username" on your LSE pc. For example, \\abacusstorage\b\bloggsj

If you are unfamiliar with mapping a drive, please see Mapping a network drive|

Once you are logged into ABACUS, you will automatically see the files you have copied over listed on the S:\ drive on ABACUS.

Notes on using ABACUS

  1. Saving data.   Always save data to the S:\ drive. You may need to modify your code if this is already programmed into your scripts. 
  2. Leaving ABACUS – logging off. If you have finished your analysis please log off so that the resources you have been using for your analysis can be re-allocated to other ABACUS users.
  3. Leaving ABACUS – disconnecting. If you are still running your analysis but want to leave your ABACUS session you can "disconnect" by clicking the X in the Remote Desktop Client options bar at the top of the screen. This will disconnect your session while leaving your analysis running. You can reconnect by simply logging on again.

    Note: With any remote desktop connection, please remember that if you leave yourself logged on and there is a period of inactivity for more than 15 minutes, you are likely to lose your connection.

    Leaving Abacus logged in but idle for 24 hours will also result in the session state becoming disconnected. Once the session is in a disconnected state you have then have 4 days to resume the sessions before it is deemed as inactive and terminated. Resuming a disconnected session will reset the 4 day inactive period timer at which point the session can be disconnected again for up to another 4 days, this can be done as many times as required for the analysis to complete.
  4. Backing up your data. Data held in the storage area is not backed up. However, you have access to a second storage area, accessed from a shortcut within your s:\drive that you should use to make copies of your datasets/results etc. The shortcut takes the form of: \\AbacusBackup\BackUp-x\Username (x being the first letter of the username)

    Note: Please be aware that Information Management and Technology cannot take responsibility for loss of data from your s:\drive should you fail to make a copy of it on the second storage area.
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