The Vermont Advanced Computing Core (VACC) is a core research facility offering research computing services to UVM faculty, staff and students, as well as to strategic partners. The VACC was made possible by founding grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with strong support from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and Vermont EPSCoR.
VACC's mission includes strategic support in three key areas:
- advancing high-impact, multidisciplinary research efforts
- promoting advanced computing education and outreach across disciplines
- investing in next-generation, innovative and sustainable high-performance computing infrastructure models
Use of the VACC infrastructure also prepares research students and faculty for project access to larger advanced computing infrastructures of the 21st century, including national grid architectures and the future of cloud computing.
The VACC's efforts are coordinated with priority initiatives in the Office of the Vice President for Research including an investment in faculty in the Complex Systems Center. The VACC works closely with UVM Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) to ensure computing systems run smoothly and coordinate with NASA to advance complementary research programs.
In 2003, with early support from NASA and Senator Patrick Leahy, UVM undertook a campus-wide assessment of current needs and future directions for high-performance computing (HPC) in its research enterprise. The effort included discussions with an expert panel from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as well as UVM research leadership and faculty members across disciplines.
Affectionately known by its many users as the "Bluemoon Cluster," the UVM VACC supercomputer has been largely developed with IBM systems architecture. The facility has received three major upgrades since its initial development, with next-generation, IBM high performance computing (HPC) hardware in order to optimize performance and data storage while maximizing data security and energy efficiency for an increasing number of users.