Collaboration to Expand High Performance Computing for Researchers at UTSA

January 31, 2018

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Written by: Danicia Steele, Communications Specialist


Throughout fall 2017, many different offices within OIT including the Research Computing Support Group (RCSG) and Communications Infrastructure Services team collaborated to submit a proposal for a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The proposed project is related to the UTSA network infrastructure titled “The Roadrunner High- Performance Science, Engineering, and Business Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).”

If awarded, the grant will be used to install 10Gb/s network switches in several buildings on the UTSA campus. These switches will increase network bandwidth from 1Gb/s to 10Gb/s for as many as 1000 network ports in select research labs. The implementation will address the need of users that frequently transfer large amounts of data and request a higher speed. Future projects related to real-time remote surgery, smart buildings and grids, cybersecurity, cloud computing and much more will also benefit from increased network speeds due to their use of large datasets and the critical need for high-performance computing resources.

“The improved infrastructure will allow UTSA researchers to fully utilize internal resources such as the institutional HPC cluster and visualization lab,” said OIT’s Director of the Research Computing Support Group Brent League. “UTSA researchers will be provided with a unique level of access to some of the world’s most powerful computing and visualization resources available to through the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).”

OIT has collaborated with different offices in the past to apply for a previous NSF grant. Although UTSA was not selected for the award previously, the NSF review panel implied the proposal was “competitive” and provided constructive feedback that was used to put together the new proposal. RCSG has worked closely with multiple OIT staff members including the Director of Infrastructure Services Daniel Byrd and OIT Manager for Communications Infrastructure Services Keith Trevino to help ensure all the feedback is incorporated into the new submission.

“The PI’s, several key members of OIT’s network team, and I have been working over the last six to eight months to address these shortcomings,” said League. “Keith and Dan have been working diligently to design the plans for this proposed Science DMZ. Without their expertise and time spent on planning, we would stand no chance of winning this proposal.”

An award decision is expected by October 30, 2018. If granted the opportunity this year, the implementation of the “Roadrunner High-Performance Science, Engineering, and Business DMZ,” will support UTSA’s goals and the OIT Strategic Plan of innovating scholarly research to significantly influence society and achieve recognition as a premier research university. OIT supports UTSA’s mission of becoming a Tier One university by fostering innovative research and collaboration across a broad swath of disciplines from science and engineering to business and more.


For more information on National Science Foundation grants please click here.