Hard drives as part of a server station

High Performance Computing

NC State University High-Performance Computing (HPC) is part of the initiative to provide state of the art support for research and academic computing at NC State. HPC group provides NC State students and faculty with entry and medium level high-performance research and education computing facilities, consulting support and scientific workflow support. This service shares infrastructure and staff resources with the Virtual Computing Laboratory (VCL).

HPC services include shared memory computing, distributed memory computing, data storage, a suite of applications, and consulting and collaboration on computational issues.

Office of Information Technology (OIT) offers NC State faculty an HPC Partnership Program. Researchers purchase HPC hardware (compute blades and/or storage) and any specialized or discipline-specific software licenses. OIT provides space in an appropriate and secure operating environment, option to combine the purchased computing power and storage with that available by the general HPC program, and the system administration and support. In return for services provided by OIT, when computing resources are not being used by the faculty partner, the server(s) are available to the general NC State HPC cluster user community.

Virtual Computing Lab

NCSU provides a remote access service that allows you to reserve a computer with a desired set of applications for yourself, and remotely access it over the Internet. This service is powered by the Apache Software Foundation’s Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) software.

You can use all your favorite applications such as Matlab, Maple, SAS, Solidworks, and many others. Linux, Solaris and numerous Windows environments are now available to all NC State students and faculty. Instructors that would like to request course access, please see these instructions.

Google Apps at NC State

Google Apps @ NC State provides Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and a number of other apps to help students, faculty and staff educate, communicate and collaborate.   Google Apps is a suite of Web-based messaging and collaboration applications that Google hosts on their own servers, providing them as services rather than software you would have to download and install. To access these services, you simply use a Web browser on a computer that’s connected to the Internet. The various Google Apps services (e.g., Gmail, Calendar, Documents) are tightly integrated, so they require less maintenance, can be upgraded more frequently, and can often run faster.

Google Apps List

Getting Started with Google Apps

Help with Google Apps


Data Science Infrastructure

The NCDSA grant secured a 1PB server that functions as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) and is accessible for computation from the Linux cluster and VCL.  This server is fully federated with UNC-C and RENCI via Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) software.  Benefits of iRODS include:

  • Enabling data discovery using a metadata catalog that describes every file, every directory, and every storage resource in the data grid
  • Automating data workflows, with a rule engine that permits any action to be initiated by any trigger on any server or client in the grid
  • Enabling secure collaboration, so users only need to log in to their home grid to access data hosted on a remote grid
  • Implementing data virtualization, allowing access to distributed storage assets under a unified namespace, and freeing organizations from getting locked into single-vendor storage solutions

While this server is in pre-production status, OIT has provided staff resources to support systems and applications.  To request access, please contact oit_hpc@help.ncsu.edu

Office 365

As an NC State student, faculty or staff member, you can download and install a free copy of the full MS Office suite (includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint), and you also have access to the cloud versions of these products (Office 365).

Your free copy of Office 365 can be installed on multiple devices and comes with online file storage space in OneDrive.

NOTE : Google Apps @ NC State is the university’s primary collaborative application suite. OIT recommends that you use Google Apps for collaboration instead of Office 365.