High Performance and Research Computing

The University’s latest strategic plan addresses the need to “Develop high performance and research computing initiatives to facilitate research and advance ‘Big Data’ analyses and applications across all disciplines.” The strategy includes procuring and supporting “…needed computational resources to assist faculty and students and provide a learning and training environment for researchers and students.” As a first step in developing that strategy, the provost has approved and funded the hiring of a manager of HPC systems administration to provide “Technical support for computational, mathematical, and statistical consulting related to HPC enabled research.”

The job description and justification have been completed and the search will begin shortly. This position will be responsible for administering, maintaining, and programming the high performance and research computing environment that may include cloud-based systems as well as local physical and virtual systems.

Part of the rationale for creating a centralized high performance and research computing facility with technical support is the recognition that centralizing the various sized research clusters will save money, not only by providing greater economies of scale, but through reduced power consumption, improved technical support that collectively will be less expensive, and by operating in a secure data center with redundant air conditioning and generator power backup ensuring greater availability of expensive computing resources.