IGM Computing Core

Overview of Services

Primary Storage
We offer primary data storage in quarter-terabyte increments. Our hardware implementation is modular and grows with demand, with approximately 70 terabytes of usable storage currently deployed.

Storage can be accessed over the network in various ways...

from Mac and Windows desktop systems via Windows Filesharing (samba)
from the computational grid via NFS (Network Filesystem)
from hosted servers via iSCSI or NFS
All primary data storage is backed up nightly to our Tivoli Storage Manager backup service. One backup copy is kept onsite for on-demand restores; a second encrypted backup copy is stored offsite for disaster recovery.

Our enterprise-class backup/archive solution is based on IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) software and supports a wide range of client operating systems including MacOS, Windows and Linux.


  • fully automated nightly backups
  • scalable tape library with 570TB native (uncompressed) capacity
  • onsite backup for immediate recovery of lost data
  • offsite copy with 256-bit AES encryption
  • four LTO5 tape drives for high-throughput archive and retrieval (1.9TB/hour, uncompressed)
  • data compression on-the-fly (50% reduction of data size is not unusual)
  • 2TB fast random-access disk pool for nightly backup
  • 20TB sequential disk pool serving as virtual tape for recent backups
  • 10-gigabit Ethernet connectivity to primary IGM storage servers as well as the Hopkins high-speed research network
  • Backup
  • provides for one or more redundant copies of primary data as a safeguard against data loss in the event of accidental file deletion or catastrophic server failure.
  • Archive
  • provides for long-term storage of important, but infrequently accessed data that will be deleted from primary storage in order to reduce costs.
  • TSM backups are highly efficient because once a client has completed a full backup cycle, only “incremental” changes are transmitted to the server during subsequent backup runs: data created or moved since the previous incremental are sent to the server; deleted files are marked “expired” in the backup server‘s database and become subject to retention policy.

Retention Policy
Retention policy applies to data that has marked “expired” because it no longer exists on primary storage. Our default policy is to retain backup data for 30 days after it has been deleted from the client. In other words: If you delete data which has been backed up to our TSM server, you have 30 days to change your mind. (Longer retention periods are available on request, however this can increase the overall size of the backup data.)

Archive retention is unlimited, because deletion from primary storage is assumed.

Backup/archive storage space on our TSM server is available in 1TB increments at $40/TB/month.

This rate includes an encrypted offsite copy for disaster recovery. Note that space utilized is determined on the backup server, not the client. Thus, data occupancy may be greatly reduced by compression. For example, if 10TB of primary storage compresses to 5TB when stored on the TSM server, the storage fee would only be $200/month (5TB * $40/TB/month). There is no additional fee for the offsite copy.

LAN/Desktop Services
We provide comprehensive on-site support for desktop workstations, laptops, printers, and tablets. Services include:

  • initial system setup and deployment
  • automated anti-virus protection where applicable
  • periodic hardware maintenance and software updates
  • troubleshooting
  • on-call support for mission-critical applications
  • third-party software installation
  • manage connections to primary data storage
  • configure TSM backup/archive client
  • interface with computing services across the Johns Hopkins community


Our standard rate for cradle-to-grave contract support is $360/device/year.

Non-contract support is available at $80/hour (half-hour minimum).


Hosting Services

In order to meet the complex and varied individual demands of research, academic, and administrative clients, paradIGM offers flexible custom hosting services.

We can deliver turnkey virtual servers for projects with modest disk and memory requirements, and whose software components are fully supported by the Red Hat application stack (e.g. apache, mysql, postgresql). Most web-database applications fall into this category.

For complex projects, we can engineer highly specialized solutions, including the deployment of dedicated data center hardware, hardware-software integration, custom web/database application development, and high-availability failover.

Deployment options include:

  • dedicated virtual machine
  • dedicated physical hardware
  • high-availability (virtual machines with automatic failover for hardware issues)
  • To reduce overhead, we have standardized our servers on 64-bit Intel hardware running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


Explanation of Rates
Our server hosting rates are calibrated to cover deployment, security, maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting. The basic rate is $75/month, adjusted for complexity according to the number of “modules” in the service.

Server Component #Modules

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS (Virtual Host) 1
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS (Physical Host) 1.5
  • Application or Server Daemon (Red Hat Bundled) 1
  • Application or Server Daemon (Third-Party) 2
  • Microsoft Windows Server Enterprise (Virtual Host) 2
  • Microsoft Windows Server Enterprise (Physical Host) 2.5


Standalone Virtual Web Server
Virtual Host: 1 module
Apache Web Server (bundled): 1 module
2 modules * $75/module = $150/month
Virtual Web Server w/ Database Back-end
Virtual Host: 1 module
Apache Web Server (bundled): 1 module
Postgresql Database Server (bundled): 1 module
3 modules * $75/module = $225/month
Web Server w/ 3rd-party Content Management Software
Physical Host: 1.5 modules
Apache Web Server (bundled): 1 module
MySQL Database Server (bundled): 1 module
Drupal Content Management System (3rd-party): 2 modules
5.5 modules * $75/module = $412.50/month





IT Oversight

Lee Watkins

IT Operating Unit Director




Jessie Grafenberg

IGM Administrator



Brooklyn Khoury

IGM Ast. Administrator


Location and hours of operation


Hours Location 

      Monday- Friday     



     Baltimore, MD 21205


Name Role Phone Email Location
Elvin Hsu
Sr. Systems Engineer
1812 Ashland Ave., Suite 200
Earl Elias
LAN Administrator III
1812 Ashland Ave., Suite 200

Service list

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