One of the (original) goals of the VirtualRDC is to provide an environment that simulates the computing environment in the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers. Researchers can learn how to work within the constraints of the confidential FSRDCs before actually starting work at one of the physical locations, thus reducing the setup time and permitting the use of the VirtualRDC as a teaching environment.
Synthetic datasets (real simulated data) and dummy internal-use datasets (fake simulated data) mimicking the functionality of those available in the actual FSRDC can be accessed and analyzed. Programs written on the VirtualRDC should be 100% portable to the FSRDC (with some minimal adjustments usually involving the root of the file location information). These features reduce development and travel time. More importantly, these features permit the use of the VirtualRDC as a teaching environment for faculty and students who do not have authorized FSRDC projects but who wish to learn about the research functionality of the FSRDC.
Accessing the Simulated FSRDC on the VirtualRDC
What to expect
- The Simulated FSRDC uses the same graphical interface to a Linux-based compute environment as the VirtualRDC headnode.
- Some of the statistical software is the same (if you are missing software on our systems that you hope to use on the FSRDC, please contact us).
- The filesystem is very similar (more details can be found on our Data page and at Step 2Step 2).
The goal is that test programs can be written and refined, and with minimal differences, later uploaded (with the help of your RDC administrator) to the FSRDC, accelerating program development.
What you will not get access to
- Any confidential data
- Synthetic LBD and SIPP Synthetic Beta files - while these are housed on the same Synthetic Data Server, you will need to request a separate account.
For some purposes, using the Synthetic Data Server may be an alternative, if the datasets available there meet your needs.