Skip to main content


SoC IT provides significant services for faculty and staff to aid in research. Below is a summary of core research services provided, however, we specialize in custom solutions depending the project. You can enter a service request to start a conversation on what services might be available for your specific project. You can request any of the services below through our helpdesk or by emailing

NetID Services

Students, faculty, and staff automatically receive NetIDs as soon as they become affiliated with the university. SoC IT can create NetIDs for people collaborating with SoC faculty and staff so these individuals can log in and access the VPN and on-campus resources.

Examples include:

  • Summer interns
  • Collaborators at other universities
  • Students who graduate but continue to collaborate with a faculty member or lab

Web Hosting

SoC IT provides web hosting to groups and labs within the School of Communication. We currently offer three different options to host websites for groups and labs:

  1. WordPress Hosting: Our most common offering for labs and group web sites. SoC IT provides a WordPress site (custom URLs are available) where editors can log in with their NetID password, and we take care of monthly security patching.
  2. Static Web Hosting: SoC IT offers basic web hosting services for static HTML pages, images and other data. This is ideal for people who prefer to use web creation tools such as Dreamweaver or hand code websites. Static content can be uploaded via SFTP.
  3. Custom Web Applications: If a web application or web site requires custom coding, database access, or storage of restricted data, SoC IT can provide virtual machines (VMs) running Linux or Windows.

Shared Exchange Mailboxes

Working with Northwestern IT, we can provide shared mailboxes for research labs and projects (

Research File Storage

SoC IT offers secure and redundant file storage for research groups through a service known as SOCSTORE. SoC faculty can request storage space on SOCSTORE (via a service request) and make it available to students and staff at Northwestern. Storage space is allocated based on need; we will work with you to estimate disk space usage.

If you have a share on SOCSTORE and need to get connected, please use this guide.

Research Server Hosting

SoC IT can assist faculty members and their research groups by hosting servers. This allows researchers to focus only on their applications and code and not have to worry about the day to day management of server operating systems and security.

SoC IT can help researchers obtain Virtual Machines (currently at no charge), or assist with getting physical servers purchased by faculty members installed at the university data center. Red Hat Linux 7 and Windows Server 2012/2016 are the current supported operating system. If you have other needs, please let us know and we can discuss options.

Researchers are responsible for installing their own applications, but SoC IT will manage the following:

  • Installation of monthly security patches on a published schedule
  • Firewall configuration
  • Integration with identity services for NetID login
  • Monitoring for outages
  • Warranty replacement of failed drives and other parts