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UTRC FAQ

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What is the UTRC?

The University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) Initiative is a strategic plan that was enacted to build and leverage a comprehensive, integrated infrastructure in order to create a university system environment that promotes innovation and scientific discovery.  The UT System and its 14 institutions have collaborated to deploy, operate, and support the UTRC Initiative with competitive advantages and leadership capabilities that surpass those of our peer university systems.  The UTRC presents superior, comprehensive scientific capabilities that provide research advantages to:

  • Enable breakthrough results and impact science,
  • Attract superior faculty and students, and
  • Attract funding to UT System institutions.

What are the components?

There are three components to the UTRC:

  • Advanced Computing offered through Lonestar, located at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)
  • High Bandwidth Network Connectivity offered through UTSysNet at 10 Gbps among all institutions
  • Large Data Storage offered through Corral, located at TACC

Whether one needs advanced computing, high bandwidth connectivity, large data storage, or any combination of these components, the UTRC promotes and facilitates the use of these resources by faculty and research teams to expand the scope of research, enable collaborations across institutions, and increase competitiveness for funding.

When will the UTRC be ready to support my research?

The Lonestar system is currently available for computational research.  UT SysNet access at 10 Gbps connectivity has been deployed at all campuses now.  Corral is also available for usage, with an initial fully-subsidized allotment of 5TB of storage and additional storage available at extremely competitive rates. 

What is Lonestar?

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, in one place, with a single user account.  Through the UTRC, UT System researchers have unique access to allocations on Lonestar which integrates:

  • 1252 Cray XC40 compute nodes, each with two 12-core Intel® Xeon® processing cores for a total of 30,048 compute cores
  • 2 large memory compute nodes, each with 1TB memory
  • 8 large memory compute nodes, each with 512GB memory
  • 16 Nodes with NVIDIA K-40 GPUs
  • 5 Petabyte DataDirect Networks storage system
  • Cray-developed Aries interconnect

How do I gain access to Lonestar and TACC?

Getting an account (defining a project and requesting an allocation) is easy for UT System institution researchers.  The lead researcher for a project should connect to the TACC User Portal to request a project allocation. Colleagues (collaborators, students, etc.) can also request accounts and use these project allocations. Please see Requesting a Project/Allocation for detailed instructions. See our help (link here) section for additional information.

What types of research are supported?

The UTRC supports cutting-edge research in nearly every field of science from molecular and cellular bioscience, analytical chemistry, and theoretical physics to business modeling, computational mathematics, and climate modeling.

To learn more about computational research performed on TACC's resources, explore these featured articles.

How do I get training and support?

TACC offers various training classes on programming principles and techniques in high performance computing (HPC), scientific visualization (SciVis), distributed and grid computing, and computational cluster management, as well as using TACC's high-end systems most effectively. Much of the content in TACC’s training classes is aimed at users of TACC resources, as well as, their own local systems (e.g. clusters and graphics workstations/PCs).

TACC training classes are free to the UT System research community. Visit the training class schedule for more information.

Consulting and support services for TACC systems are also available.

Which software packages are supported on Lonestar?

The Texas Advanced Computing Center maintains a collection of program libraries and software packages to support high-performance computing activities across diverse disciplines.  Software products for the supercomputing environment are selected on the basis of quality, history of performance, system compatibility, and benefit to the scientific community. Let TACC know if you need a particular software package for your work.

Visit TACC Software to see a list of software modules for download, and those developed by TACC staff.

What about Biomedical/Healthcare Research?

The UTRC has been setup to accommodate the many and varied biomedical research programs of the six UT health institutions, as well as, the diverse science and engineering research programs at the eight UT academic universities.  Software, usage policies, system configurations, training, and user support will enable the computational biomedical programs to take maximum advantage of Lonestar, Corral, and UT SysNet.

Where can I get more information?

Your first point of contact is your campus UTeam liaison.

For general information about the UTRC, you may contact Preston Broadfoot, IT Project and Contract Manager.