Thomas J. Hacker and Bradley C. Wheeler describe how changing research practices are creating new support demands and argue for the benefits of centralized cyberinfrastructure on campus. They talk about strategies for managing the conversation with schools who are developing their own infrastructure. This is in an article, Making Research Cyberinfrastructure a Strategic Choice, in the current Educause Quarterly.
We argue that the right approach to answering these questions is to create an institutional cyberinfrastructure that synthesizes centrally supported research computing infrastructure and local discipline specific applications, instruments, and digital assets. As noted above, cyberinfrastructure combines high-performance computing systems, massive data storage, visualization systems, advanced instrumentation, and research communities, all linked by a high-speed network across campus and to the outside world. These cyberinfrastructure building blocks are essential to support the research and creative activities of scholarly communities. Only through careful coordination can they be linked to attain the greatest institutional competitive advantage. Ideally, a campus cyberinfrastructure is an ongoing partnership among the campus research community and central IT organization that is built on a foundation of accountability, funding, planning, and responsiveness to the needs of the community. [EDUCAUSE Quarterly | Volume 30 Number 1 2007]They do not discuss how some of this capacity might be collaboratively sourced further up in the network, at the CIC level for example (the authors are from Purdue and Indiana University, respectively). Some of the same arguments around cost, redundancy, and efficiency could be advanced, although the political questions would be different.