LUDD has its own server room

Published: 1 October 2019

They have their own server room, a hacker space and soon also the opportunity for machine learning. The computer association LUDD at Luleå University of Technology continues to develop its business. – All who are interested in computers are welcome to join us, says Johan Jatko, systems administrator at LUDD.

There is a lot going on at LUDD in the A-house basement. Students are studying, doing labs or just hanging around.

– It is inspiring to be down here, to learn new things and to have the opportunity to work with brand new hardware, says Johan Jatko.

– Of course, there is also a social aspect. We are all different types of people, united by the interest in computers.

LUDD also has its very own server room. There, members can either add their own server, or be offered space on a virtual server. Nearly 250 servers are housed in the server hall, 120 of which were donated by Facebook at the end of 2017.

– For us, the servers are a really great thing. In addition to enriching our spare time, they are also used in some courses on our educational programs, explains Johan Jatko and is supported by Olov Schelén, Associate Professor of Pervasive and Mobile Computing, who teaches several courses where they use LUDD's servers.

– The students have been able to develop software-based solutions from a system perspective, and have had the opportunity to install and set up their solution in virtual machines. I am very pleased with the results, it is instructive for a student to be able to work with overall responsibility, while at the same time having the opportunity to communicate with the students who are responsible for the operation of the virtualization solution. It creates an educational situation that we cannot achieve if we use commercial alternatives, says Olov Schelén.

Soon, the students will also be able to work with machine learning since they have got specific graphic cards for the purpose.

– Since the students are the researchers of the future, I think they are the most important people of the university, says Marcus Liwicki, professor of machine learning, whose research group has donated circuit boards to LUDD.

– Students often think outside the box, are creative and feel passionate about what they do. Therefore, if they are to realize their ideas, it is important that they have access to the best possible hardware environment.

Johan Jatko also stresses the importance of the collaboration between LUDD and the university.

– We are an independent association, but it is also important for us to be part of the university. The fact that we have our premises at campus helps us to get support from the academy and we really appreciate that.

Another example of a collaboration between LUDD and the academy is LUDD's involvement in the Wireless Innovation Arena project, the 5G test bed that Luleå University of Technology will build.

– We will collaborate with CDT in the test environment 5G Innovation Hub North, a 5G-edge data center for student projects, says Johan Jatko.