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UB Supercomputer Driving Companies’ Growth
By Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager; September 2013
The Center for Computational Research (CCR), a leading high performance computing center, is just one of the many assets located in the University at Buffalo. Traditionally, CCR is seen as the computational backbone to much of the fundamental research conducted at UB, but it is also an integral partner to the region’s business community – providing them with a competitive advantage. Local companies are welcomed and encouraged to work with UB faculty, CCR staff and benefit from the center’s computing expertise to advance their business and research capabilities. In fact, economic development is built directly into the CCR’s mission statement, namely to “Foster economic development and job creation in Western New York by providing local industry with access to advanced computing resources, including hardware, software and consulting services.” Indeed, this is made clear by CCR’s Director Dr. Tom Furlani, who adds “As a native of WNY, I am especially committed to help spur economic development in the region by working with local companies to leverage high performance computing to more rapidly advance their innovation and reduce development cycle time.”
Numerous local companies are already collaborating with CCR, including recent BNE ‘win’ Sentient Science. Click here to watch a short video on Sentient’s decision to relocate its headquarters to Buffalo, as well as the critical role CCR played in the decision.
What makes the CCR so valuable is how it allows businesses to utilize an incredibly expensive resource, in this case high performance computing, only when needed. Rather than tying up precious capital in expensive fixed assets, CCR’s industry partners are more able to invest in other vital aspects to their business: talent and innovation.
Many of CCR’s industrial partners are supported through the New York State High Performance Computing Consortium (HPC2), a partnership between New York’s advanced network (NYSERNet) and three supercomputing centers: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations, Stony Brook University/Brookhaven National Laboratory's New York Center for Computational Sciences, and UB’s CCR. In the three years of HPC2 existence, more than 30 industrial companies, representing all three regions (Western New York, Capital District and Long Island) have made and continue to make use of Consortium resources.
With more than 100 teraflops (trillions of operations per second) of compute capacity and 600 terabytes of high-performance storage, CCR provides industrial partners with access to advanced computing infrastructure as well as faculty and computational scientists with expertise in simulation based engineering and science. In addition, CCR has a computer visualization laboratory with a tiled display wall, which allows teams of scientists to study high resolution images and data collaboratively in a comfortable setting.
Specific ways in which the CCR partners with industry include: