AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin has announced the addition of Rodeo, the center's new cloud computing offering that will provide a variety of cloud services to its comprehensive set of advanced computing systems. The system is available for researchers that need large-scale resources, but prefer a virtualized, on-demand environment.

"TACC provides many compute, visualization and storage capabilities, but lately more researchers have been asking us for these capabilities hosted as cloud services," said TACC Director Jay Boisseau. "We have been providing cloud services for specific projects, but Rodeo is our first general purpose solution for scientists to host persistent cloud-enabled services and to access cloud computing and storage resources."

TACC's current cloud projects include hosting the Galaxy bioinformatics resource and the iPlant Atmosphere cloud infrastructure service platform, and evaluating grid and cloud computing technologies in the National Science Foundation-funded FutureGrid project. Rodeo is a new addition that will be generally available to users with a need for cloud computing and storage, and will be integrated into TACC's overall environment. This integration allows users to include Rodeo's capabilities in their scientific workflows via TACC's high-performance networking environment and shared storage systems.

"Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms provide complementary capabilities to traditional clusters," said Warren Smith, a research associate at TACC. "IaaS platforms allow full customization of computational environments, the ability to archive these environments, and easy access to stored data from any location. These features are balanced by virtualization and data transfer overhead and the higher system-management expertise needed by users when compared to non-virtualized clusters and parallel file systems."

How does it work? According to Steve Mock, TACC's director of Advanced Computing Interfaces, Rodeo lets users create virtual machines, host data, and provide services like science Gateways. "Rodeo is a powerful cloud resource where researchers can easily conduct a variety of scientific activities: modeling and simulation, visualization, data analytics and management," he said. "With Rodeo, you get to create an environment that suits your research needs and even share that environment with your collaborators. We'll also be developing domain-specific environments so that users from various scientific communities can easily start using Rodeo."

"TACC aims to offer the most powerful portfolio of world-class resources for open science, including Stampede, Lonestar, Corral, Stockyard, Ranch, and the forthcoming Maverick and Wrangler systems," Boisseau said. "Rodeo provides yet more capabilities, enabling us to offer researchers the most powerful and capable science environment in the world."

Become a User  

Between now and March 2014, Rodeo will be available to early users by special arrangement. Please contact Steve Mock to begin using the system: or 512-232-7346. After March 2014, TACC plans for users to request these cloud resources via the TACC User Portal: