AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents today (Nov. 11) approved $23 million for improvements that will increase high-performance computer connectivity and capacity across all 15 UT institutions, support research projects and foster stronger collaborations among scientists in Texas and around the world.
The upgrades will enable UT System institutions to transmit and receive data at a rate of 10 gigabytes per second through an intra-system connection. The enhancements also will improve collaborations with researchers in other countries as well as with investigators at other universities in Texas.
“Access to high-performance computers and connectivity is increasingly necessary in our science-based disciplines, and these improvements will extend computational capabilities to all of our institutions at a level never before attained,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “We are pleased regents authorized this effort, as it allows our 15 institutions to leverage all the research, financial and technical advantages of UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) so that all our campuses can develop their IT infrastructures.”
Additionally, the improvements will allow institutions to conduct projects using shared data storage, which will enable multiple researchers from different sites to access a single data source. The enhancements also will provide the support for state-of-the-art communications for distance learning and conferencing.
“We’re talking about expanding exponentially our research traffic capacity over a high bandwidth connection, which will facilitate new kinds of collaborations because it will make researchers more productive in their ability to access and transmit information,” said Jay Boisseau, TACC director.
The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $12.8 billion (FY 2011) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.