About USC's Information Technology Services
ITS works around the clock to provide a reliable technology infrastructure capable of adapting to the evolving needs of the USC community. Email and directory services support more than 75,000 users who exchange approximately 12 million messages daily. The Customer Support Center handles roughly 71,000 computer-related concerns from faculty, students, and staff per year.
Center for High-Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC)
ITS provides faculty and student researchers with world-class computing and communications resources through its Center for High-Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC). The center supports research groups in a variety of disciplines, including astronomy, civil and environmental engineering, computational biology, epigenomics, linguistics, materials science, pharmacology, and structural seismology.
HPCC has two Linux clusters. The center’s newest cluster is comprised of 264 Hewlett-Packard SL250, dual Sandy Bridge Xeon 8-core 2.4 gigahertz, dual-processor, dual NVIDIA K20 GPUs containing 2,496 cores each, as well as 64 gigabytes of memory on an FDR Infiniband backbone.
HPCC’s other 2,225-node, 4-core, 6-core, and 12-core dual-processor cluster contains Dell, Oracle Sun, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM compute nodes on a 10-gigabit Myrinet backbone and includes 4 large-memory nodes with 1 terabyte of RAM and 4 10-core Intel Xeon processors. This cluster has achieved a benchmark of 149.9 teraflops. According to TOP500 Supercomputing Sites, as of November 2012, this cluster was ranked 10th among U.S. academic supercomputers and 166th among all the world’s supercomputers.
On each cluster, a bidirectional, low-latency fiber network interconnects the nodes, allowing for the development of massive production jobs that require high-speed communications among computational elements.
The USC Network
The university’s network employs a high-performance 10-gigabit-per-second backbone with redundant connectivity to the commodity Internet via the Los Nettos regional network and to the Internet2 and the National Lambda Rail (NLR) networks via the Corporation for Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) network. The primary campus Internet connection is provided by a direct 10-gigabit-per-second connection into a Layer 2 Ethernet switching infrastructure collaboratively maintained by Los Nettos consortium members.
ITS provides campus facilities with links via local area networks that create a variety of wired communications capabilities, ranging from 10 to 1000 megabits per second in offices, laboratories, classrooms and residence halls. Wireless access is provided in most outdoor common areas, libraries, auditoria, campus eateries, and conference rooms.
In addition, ITS provides computing facilities for USC students, faculty, and staff, including central compute servers, home file systems, web pages, multimedia classrooms and general-access user labs. ITS also provides faculty and staff with basic computing facilities and storage, central email, technology-enhanced learning, web portal and collaboration, and single sign-on services.
Under the university’s federated model for providing information technology services, school and department IT groups provide localized services focused on the needs of their core constituencies.