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Facilities

The NICS facility, located in BLDG 5100 on the ORNL campus, represents a large investment by the state of Tennessee and features a state-of-the-art, interactive distance learning center with seating for 66 people, conference rooms, informal and open meeting space, executive offices for distinguished scientists and directors, and incubator suites for students and visiting staff as well as a machine room for compute and associated infrastructure hardware.

PHYSICAL

NICS occupies 11,992 of 51,930 square feet in the UT-owned building. The facility is a hub of computational and data science and engineering interactions. Joint faculty, postdocs, students, and research staff share the building. The auditorium serves as the venue for invited lectures and seminars by representatives from academia, industry, and national laboratories. The open lobby doubles as a casual meeting space and the site for informal presentations and poster sessions.

The NICS building has a 1,500 ft2 computer room, which is home to the Infrastructure for Scientific Applications and Advanced Computing (ISAAC) open research resources. The UT campus also has a 2,116 ft2 L-shaped computer room located in the Kingston Pike Building (KPB) that is home to the ISAAC Sensitive Information Processing (SIP) resources. The KPB facility has a redundant network connection, 275 kVA of dual-feed UPS power (upgradable to 550 kVA), 2 20-ton Liebert chilled water in-room air handlers, 2 Liebert XDP heat exchangers with XDR top-of-rack cooling units, 2 redundantly configured 140-ton air cooled water chillers, and a 1MW generator with a 5,000-gallon underground diesel storage tank. NICS utilizes staff that provides continuous monitoring for NICS resources in all of these facilities and immediate problem resolution, except at UT where the Office of Information Technology partners with NICS in this area. On evenings and weekends, operators provide first-line problem resolution for resources with additional user support and system administrators on-call for more difficult problems.

In addition, NICS has 1,165 square feet of space on the 3rd floor of the Philander P. Claxton Education Building on the University of Tennessee campus. This includes 3 staff offices, a student room, and a conference/training room. This space is used for our campus collaboration/training programs and summer REU programs.

NETWORKING

As illustrated in the figure below, NICS currently has three high-performance network connections, including a 100G WAN connection and a connection from NICS to UT at 100G. UT and NICS Internet connectivity is provided by the Southern Crossroads (SoX) regional research and education network and UT was the first SoX member to upgrade to 100G in May 2015. Also, NICS participates in the XSEDEnet private network between XSEDE service providers and connects to XSEDEnet through the UT infrastructure to the Internet2 Advanced Layer 2 Services (AL2S) at 10G.