Research Cluster Computing Support

Research Cluster Computing Support

SIF40 Research Cluster Computing Support

Project Manager: Ronald Hutchins, Office of the Vice President for Information Technology

The purpose of this project is to hire two engineers to augment existing staff managing research computing infrastructure.

BoV Approved: September 2016

Project Dates: 10/19/2016 – 10/18/2019

Funding Awarded: $750,000

Executive Summary

The purpose of this award was for start-up funding to hire two engineers that would expand the capabilities and provide more reliable and resilient service for the advanced computing research environments at UVA:  Rivanna, a 4,800 node high performance computing cluster and Ivy, a secure cluster for highly sensitive data (medical and other).  The Cornerstone Plan outlined a vision for UVA that included doubling the research income for the University. Research today, in general, requires the use of research computing infrastructure, including high performance specialized computers, low latency storage, and high performance network infrastructure. In order to increase research dollars as intended, the research computing infrastructure at UVA needed to be expanded, hardened, and supported in a way that not only served current faculty better, but also helped UVA attract and retain new faculty researchers across multiple schools and disciplines.

Current Status: Complete

Achievements

This project met the stated goals of hiring two engineers with the proposed outcomes of developing and reinforcing the research computing systems, providing enhanced user support for current researchers, and attracting prominent researchers who require leading-edge computational resources to perform their work. The number of grant awards for research utilizing research computing increased. The project team applied for and was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for funding to expand resources in the protected data area (UVA ACCORD/MRI, $2.5M over 3 years). Through that grant, they expanded our research computing environment to support collaboration with other universities within Commonwealth of Virginia.