RIS Basics FAQ

About RIS

What is RIS?

RIS is the Research Infrastructure Services team within Wash U IT. We are a young group, having been incorporated into Wash U IT in 2018. The RIS team strives to build and deliver services related to the research mission of Wash U IT. To date, our service catalog only includes Research Storage and will soon include Research Computing. Our product roadmap includes Application Platforms. Generally speaking, RIS attempts to find common patterns in the needs of Wash U research faculty and develops services that addresses the needs these represent. We do not solve all research IT problems, rather we attempt to reduce the costs of the “big ticket items” that represent significant challenges to researchers: high performance and high capacity storage, high performance and high throughput computing, large scale data transfer, and some narrowly focused research applications.

How do I contact RIS?

RIS uses the RIS Service Desk to interact with users. Each category of the Service Desk includes an “Ask a question” related to that service. This is not the same thing as Service Now, which is seen by some to be a deficiency and by others to be an advantage. We will be working to integrate with Wash U IT and have some linkage between our systems to make it easier for users to contact us.

What are RIS Services?

RIS services are described in the RIS Service Catalog.

Who are RIS Services for?

RIS services are for Wash U faculty and staff, focused on the research mission of Wash U.

How do I get started with RIS Services?

It is assumed that users will be research faculty and staff and have Wash U WUSTL Key IDs, have access to Wash U IT Networks, and have access to a departmental WorkDay Cost Center Number. With these as pre-requisites, one can request new services by creating a Service Desk Request via the RIS Service Desk.

Below is a guide on how to use the Service Desk to request new RIS services.

How do I get help with RIS Services?

Getting help with RIS services generally falls into a few categories:

  • Getting started or enabling services

  • Asking questions about services

  • Reporting problems with services

Each RIS Service has a section within the RIS Service Desk that contains request forms for these Request Types.

Where can I find RIS Documentation?

You are reading it! RIS service documentation lives at this Confluence site in two places:

  • The RIS User Manual

  • The RIS Knowledge Base

Where can I get help with WUSTL Keys?

What do you mean when you say product stages?

RIS Product Launch Stages

Early Access

Early-access features are limited to a closed group of testers for a limited subset of launches. Participation is by invitation only. These features may be unstable, change in backward-incompatible ways, and are not guaranteed to be released. There are no SLAs provided and no technical support obligations.


Alpha is a limited-availability test before releases are cleared for more widespread use. Our focus with alpha testing is to verify functionality and gather feedback from a limited set of customers. Typically, alpha participation is by invitation and subject to pre-general-availability terms. Alpha releases don’t have to be feature complete, no SLAs are provided, and there are no technical support obligations. However, alphas are generally suitable for use in test environments.


At beta, products or features are ready for broader customer testing and use. There are no SLAs or technical support obligations in a beta release unless otherwise specified in product terms or the terms of a particular beta program.

General Availability

General availability products and features are open to all customers, covered by the RIS SLAs, and are ready for production use.


Deprecated features are scheduled to be shut down and removed.

Note: Depending on product maturity and engineering needs, a RIS product or feature may not go through every launch stage, and the time between launch phases may vary.