Big Data Lab FAQ

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What is the Big Data Lab used for?

The Big Data Lab consists of a computer lab and data center. The data center hosts student virtual machines on the VMware vSphere platform and is used for lab assignments, research, storing data, and running CPU intensive calculations.

What classes use the Big Data Lab?

Although any Computer Science class is welcome to use these facilities, the lab is most frequently used for Software Engineering (CSC 190), Operating Systems (CSC 112), Web Application Development (CSC 183/283), Senior Design projects, and special topic classes such as Ethical hacking (CSC 115/215), The Semantic Web (CSC 150/250), etc.

How much storage space can I get for a VM?

What am I allowed to use a VM for? Are there any restrictions?

Use of the Hofstra Network and University resources shall be governed by the Acceptable Use Guidelines and must comly with all University policies, rules and regulations as well as all local, state and federal laws.

Big Data Lab compute resources may not be used in a manner that would violate the Acceptable Use Guidelines, except for educational and research purposes as expressly permitted by the terms set forth herein. Said exeptions to the Acceptable Use Guidelines apply for limited purposes in a controlled environment only. Exceptions include:

The following exceptions are permitted in designated lab facilities solely for the purposes of academic research, special projects, or coursework in connection with an applicable class such as CSC 115/215.

  • Capturing and monitoring network transmissions
  • Locally hosted services
  • Hacking or attempting to circumvent security on another computer

How do I access a VM in the Big Data Lab?

Unless you are on a Hofstra lab computer in Adams Hall, Weed Hall, Weller Hall, or C.V. Starr, you first need to connect to the VPN. To connect to the VPN from your laptop or home computer, you need to install an OpenVPN client and obtain a client profile from In the Open Access Labs (Hammer and Calkins), you must instead use the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client and connect to

Once connected to the VPN, follow these directions and use the vSphere Client or OpenNebula to access your VM.

How do I access Big Data Lab VMs from Hofstra lab computers?

Adams Hall, Weed Hall, Weller Hall, and C.V. Starr:

A VPN connection is not needed to access VMs on Hofstra lab computers in Adams Hall, Weed Hall, Weller Hall, and C.V. Starr, except for VDI labs.

Hammer and Calkins Labs (Open Access Labs):

To access VMs from the Open Access Labs, please open the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client and connect to When prompted, enter your username as “students" followed by you portal username, e.g. students\h702345678.

Why can’t I access my virtual machine from the Hofstra network?

You need to use the VPN throughout the campus to access VMs in the Big Data Lab, except in Adams Hall, Weed Hall, Weller Hall, and C.V. Starr. Also, a VPN connection is needed to access VMs from any device connected to eduroam, even in one of the aforementioned buildings.