Nightingale User Documentation

Seven racks of computers in a server room

Nightingale is a high-performance compute cluster for sensitive data offering researchers a secure system for data storage and powerful computation. NCSA experts manage the complex requirements surrounding sensitive data, taking the burden off the user so they can focus on their research. The system complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security rules for using Protected Health Information (PHI). Nightingale is not limited to the health domain and accommodates projects that require this amount of security or less, such as compliance with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) policies.

The Nightingale cluster resides in the NCSA National Petascale Facility and is audited yearly by an outside entity to ensure secure operation (SOC 2 Type 2). It is available for a fee to University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and their collaborators through desktop access and encrypted laptop access. Rates are based on a service model that provides flexibility for short-term and long-term projects. If this level of security is not needed, please consider other NCSA resources.


If you are unfamiliar with using a high-performance cluster (HPC) cluster, we highly recommend taking NCSA’s short tutorial Using an HPC Cluster for Scientific Applications before continuing with this user guide.