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 UT System Research Cyberinfrastructure Project (UTRC)


UTRC     Advanced Computing    Training    Biomedical/Healthcare Research


What is UTRC?


The UT System has developed and initiated a strategic plan to build and leverage comprehensive, integrated infrastructure to create an environment that promotes innovation and discovery. The UT System and its 15 institutions are working together to develop, deploy, operate, support, and upgrade the UT System Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) Project with competitive advantages and leadership capabilities that surpass those of our peer institutions. UTRC presents superior, comprehensive scientific capabilities that provide research advantages that:

  1. enable breakthrough results and impact science,
  2. attract superior faculty and students, and
  3. attract funding to UT System institutions.

What are the component projects of UTRC?


Some features of the UTRC discovery environment will include advanced computing, data sharing and services, and high bandwidth network connectivity.

  1. Advanced computing is being provided by the new Lonestar supercomputing system (with archival storage on the Ranch archival facility) at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Lonestar enables parallel computing applications, large shared memory applications, high throughput computing, and remote visualization of large scale data. Lonestar is a national TeraGrid resource and is one of the most powerful, productive, and comprehensive academic systems in the US, and its availability within UTRC now presents a scientific advantage to researchers at UT System institutions.
  2. Data sharing and services will be provided by the UT Data Repository (UTDR). It will enable long-term data storage, hosting of large scientific data collections for collaborations and communities, and analysis capabilities that span multiple collections. It will also facilitate data management plans that are now required in all NSF and NIH proposals. UTDR will be designed by a multi-institution team to ensure it meets diverse research requirements and can scale up for future needs.
  3. High bandwidth network connectivity between all UT System institutions, TACC, and the two data centers (at Arlington and Houston) will be provided to enable sharing of data and movement of data to/from computing and data systems. UT SysNet will deploy this high-bandwidth network capability (10 gigabits per second (Gbps) connectivity) and will work with the 15 institutions to utilize it by resolving last-mile issues into research facilities and centers on their campuses.

UTRC offers increased integration, consistent interfaces, and professional support to ensure that it is utilized effectively and to facilitate collaboration. UTRC resources will receive regular upgrades in capabilities and usability to maintain a scientifically competitive advantage over peer research institutions. UTRC incorporates an integrated, effective operations and user support team across UT System. This team ensures that the systems comprising UTRC (central and distributed, connected at high bandwidth) are easy to use, and works with researchers to help use systems, develop applications, manage and analyze data, and integrate with the decentralized resources.


When will UTRC be ready to support my research?


The Lonestar system is available now for computational research. UT SysNet access at 10Gbps connectivity is being deployed at campuses now, with many connected in 2011 and the rest in 2012. UTDR is being designed now with inputs from all of the institutions, with the first phase of deployment expected by October 2011.


The progress of this deployment can be tracked at the UTRC Time Schedule.


Please visit www.utsystem.edu/research-cyberinfrastructure for more information.


What is Lonestar? How do I gain access?


Advanced computing, the first component of the UTRC, is in production now via Lonestar, which is available to researchers at all UT System institutions. Lonestar is a fully integrated advanced computing system on which UT System researchers can compute, store, analyze, generate, process, and visualize large amounts of data simply all in one place with a single user account. As part of UTRC, UT System researchers have unique access to allocations on Lonestar which integrates:

  1. Over 300 teraflops peak performance for parallel computing applications
  2. Large shared memory nodes with over 1 TB memory
  3. GPU nodes for remote visualization and accelerated computing
  4. Software tools and policies to enable high throughput computing

Getting an account, defining a project, and requesting an allocation of compute time or storage space is easy for UT System institution researchers. First the lead researcher for a project should connect to the TACC User Portal to get an account(if they do not have on already); colleagues (collaborators, students, etc.) can request accounts as well. Once an account is received, the lead researcher should define a project and request a project allocation of computation time or storage space. After a project has received an allocation, the lead researcher or her delegate (delegates can be added to the project) can add colleagues with TACC accounts to a project so that they can use project allocations as well. Detailed instructions for requesting a project or allocation can also be found here: http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/user-services/new-user-info/


For more information about Lonestar, click here: http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/partnerships/utrc. Of the training classes offered from January through April 2012, only the Intro to Parallel Computing and Intro to Scientific Visualization will not be webcast. All others will be webcast at no charge; you can join via your own workstation -- you just need to register for it and you will receive an email with instructions on how to join the web cast.


Are HPC training classes available?


TACC offers various training classes in high performance computing (HPC), scientific visualization (SciVis), distributed and grid computing (DGC), and computational cluster management. TACC training classes teach the programming principles and techniques in HPC and SciVis as well as how to use TACC's high-end systems most effectively. Much of the content in TACC training classes is useful for users using TACC resources as well as their own local systems (e.g., clusters and graphics workstations/PCs). TACC training classes are free to faculty, staff, and students at UT System institutions.


Future training classes can be viewed at http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/user-services/training. Of the training classes offered from January through April 2012, only the Intro to Parallel Computing and Intro to Scientific Visualization will not be webcast. All others will be webcast at no charge; you can join via your own workstation -- you just need to register for it and you will receive an email with instructions on how to join the web cast.


What about Biomedical/Healthcare Research in UTRC?


UTRC will accommodate the many and varied biomedical research programs of the six UT health institutions, in addition to the diverse science and engineering including biology research programs at the nine UT academic universities. Each of the UTRC initiatives will be configured to support the diverse research programs of all 15 institutions. Software, usage policies, system configurations, training, and user support will enable the computational biomedical programs to take maximum advantage of Lonestar, the UT Data Repository, and UT SysNet.




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