High Performance Research Computing Core
The High Performance Research Computing (HPRC) core facility provides the VCU community with the high performance computing resources for research, teaching, and outreach activities.
The primary mission of the HPRC core facility is to advance scientific research at VCU in areas that benefit from large-scale computation. The HPRC supports the One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan and the recalibration of Quest 2028: One VCU Together We Transform by providing supercomputing clusters, large-scale storage systems, specialized software, and technical expertise in research computing. The HPRC supports research computing in mathematics and computational sciences, physical and chemical sciences, engineering, life sciences, medicine, and arts and humanities. Alberto Cano, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science with the VCU College of Engineering, is the facility’s faculty director and Mike Davis is the technical director.
The HPRC operates and maintains four main clusters: Huff, Teal, Godel, and Fenn, which provide service for different types of small/large, serial/parallel, CPU/GPU applications. The Fenn cluster is the only computing cluster certified at VCU to operate with CAT I data.
Acknowledge the HPRC core
Many of the core laboratories at VCU are supported, in part, by program grants from sponsoring institutes at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and Virginia state funding. It is essential that core laboratory usage be appropriately cited in publications. This courtesy will help ensure ongoing support and continuity of such services to the VCU community. Please include the following in the acknowledgments:
“High Performance Computing resources provided by the High Performance Research Computing (HPRC) core facility at Virginia Commonwealth University (https://hprc.vcu.edu) were used for conducting the research reported in this work.”
Suggested grant language
Include the following text in the Facilities and Resources section of grant applications when proposing to conduct work that utilizes the HPRC facility:
The VCU High Performance Research Computing (HPRC) core facility occupies approximately 2,000 square feet of space, predominantly on the third floor of Harris Hall on the Monroe Park campus. The mission of the HPRC is to provide high performance computing services for the VCU research community. To accomplish this goal, the HPRC maintains four major supercomputing clusters, each specialized for different computing environments:
- teal.hprc.vcu.edu is the primary cluster intended for large scale parallel computing. It is especially well suited for applications such as molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry and other physical sciences jobs. Teal consists of ~5104 64-bit Intel and AMD compute cores, each with 2-4 GB RAM/core; 10.2 TB of total RAM; 180 TB of /home space; tmp space of between 360 and 787 GB per node; several GPU nodes; and a high speed 20 Gb/second Infiniband architecture.
- huff.hprc.vcu.edu is the newest cluster for large scale parallel and distributed computing. Huff includes regular computing nodes, large memory nodes, and GPU nodes. Huff uses new processors (AMD EPYC2) with a total of 5,120 cores (10,240 threads or vcores), new high performance storage (a 2.1 PB Lustre filesystem), and integrates five GPU systems (3 each with dual 32GB V100 GPUs and 512GB of RAM and 2 each with 4x 80GB A-100 and 1 TB of RAM). Nodes in the basic queue (partition) have 128 cores (256 vcores) and 256 or 512GB of RAM. Nodes in the large queue have 256 cores and 1 TB of RAM.
- godel.hprc.vcu.edu is optimized for bioinformatics applications, with 1624 Intel and AMD 64 bit cores, each with at least 3 GB RAM/core, 4.8 TB of total RAM, 17 TB of /home space, tmp space of at least 180 GB/node, a GPU system and 40 Gb/second Infiniband networking, and 1.2TB of GPFS high performance parallel file system storage.
- fenn.hprc.vcu.edu is designed to support research using data that must comply with federal security and privacy requirements (CAT I data). It consists of 1016 Intel 64 bit cores, 2/GB of RAM/core, 900 TB of GPFS high performance parallel file system storage (expandable to 2.2PB), and 54 Gb/second Infiniband networking. The Fenn system employs a security model that requires all access via VPN, and exists on a separate virtual and physical network from other university and HPRC resources.
To support this infrastructure, the HPRC employs 6 FTE staff positions: Alberto Cano, faculty director, Mike Davis, technical director; three systems analysts; and an applications analyst. In addition to maintaining the hardware, the HPRC works collaboratively with VCU researchers to maintain and optimize a large number of applications and development tools (BLAST, R, MATLAB, NAMD, Gaussian, Gromacs, Charm, C/C++, Fortran compilers) as well as other scientific, statistical and development software.
High Performance Research Computing
1015 Floyd Ave.
Harris Hall 3rd Floor
Richmond, VA 23284
Life Sciences Supply Center
1000 W. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23284
Alberto Cano, Ph.D.