The University of Texas Cyberinfrastructure Initiative (UTRC) FAQs

What is 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 UTRC:

  • Advanced Computing offered through Lonestar, located at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)
  • High Bandwidth Network Connectivity offered 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.

What is TACC?

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is a Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and supported by the UTRC Initiative. TACC designs and operates some of the world's most powerful computing resources, with the mission to “enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies.” The center’s comprehensive cyberinfrastructure ecosystem includes high performance computing (HPC), visualization, data analysis, storage, archive, cloud, data-driven computing, connectivity, tools, APIs, algorithms, consulting, and software.

For more information, please visit the TACC website.

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.

Click Here for more information on Lonestar and other advanced computing systems at TACC.

How do I gain access to Lonestar and TACC?

All UT System institution researchers are eligible to create an account through the TACC User Portal. The lead researcher for a project (principal investigator) is responsible for creating a project and requesting allocations, also through the TACC User Portal. Collaborators and students can use these project allocations once approved by the principal investigator. Please see Managing Allocations for detailed instructions.

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 feature articles or see the Scientific Visualization Gallery.

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?

TACC 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 in UTRC?

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 the UT System Network.

Where can I get more information?

For general information about the UTRC, you may contact Preston Broadfoot, IT Project and Contract Manager.
For information about TACC, you may contact Joe Allen, Houston/Galveston-area liaison for TACC.