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UT San Antonio Deploys Cloud-Based Academic Research Platform

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has implemented an advanced academic research software platform based on OpenStack technologies.

"The demands made by applications and the needs of computer users are constantly spiraling upward," said Mo Jamshidi, chair of the UTSA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in a prepared statement. "We were challenged by the physical limitations of our computers and wanted to find a new computing plateau where we could have the freedom to explore the full potential of our research."

The university decided early on in the platform-selection process that its research cloud should be open so it could support collaboration, according to Jeff Prevost, coordinator of cloud initiatives at UTSA. The university selected a hybrid cloud platform featuring Rackspace Private Cloud and public Open Cloud solutions, which was designed, built, and deployed by Rackspace Hosting and UTSA. The solution will provide UTSA researchers with "massive scale, flexibility, and speed in research," according to Rackspace.

"An OpenStack-based foundation became the obvious choice for us, not only because of our relationship with Rackspace, but also because of the private and public structure possibilities," said Prevost in a prepared statement. "The flexibility of this hybrid environment is a compelling enabler for the research we are doing."

The solution will let UTSA researchers run complicated and intensive computational models to study scientific and engineering problems related to bioinformatics, aircraft digital twins, energy exploration, and digital human model and real-time surgical control.

Rackspace is also providing UTSA with training and development to help drive adoption and effective use of the OpenStack-powered private cloud.

The hardware for the platform was provided by a grant from the 80/20 Foundation, which was founded by Graham Weston, co-founder and chairman of Rackspace. The 80/20 Foundation provides grants to public charities focused on developing and promoting entrepreneurship, tech skills education, and urban options in San Antonio.

The University of Texas at San Antonio is a comprehensive, four-year public university serving the San Antonio metropolitan area, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. It serves more than 30,000 students and employs nearly 600 faculty members.

Further information about Rackspace Hosting can be found at rackspace.com.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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