Service description

ITS Research Computing manages a variety of servers and compute clusters to help meet the computational needs for Carolina researchers. A wide variety of commercial and open-source software applications is provided for use, as are multiple compilers and parallel operating environments. These systems, located in and administered by Research Computing, include:

1. Longleaf

The Longleaf cluster is a Linux-based computing system available to researchers across the campus. With more than 9,000 computing cores a large scratch disk space, it provides an environment that is optimized for memory and I/O intensive, loosely coupled workloads with an emphasis on aggregate job throughput over individual job performance. In particular workloads consisting of a large quantity of jobs each requiring a single compute host are best suited to Longleaf.

2. Dogwood

The Dogwood cluster is a Linux-based computing system available to researchers across the campus. With more than 9,000 physical computing core. It is optimized to run large-way, distributed memory, multi-node, parallel jobs. The system has a fast switching fabric (Infiniband EDR interconnect) for this purpose. Here, by large way jobs we mean jobs that span beyond a node (here > 44 cores).

The Longleaf and Dogwood research clusters collectively support about 1,200 users.

3. Virtual Computing Lab

  • Windows-based computing through the VCL (Virtual Computing Lab): Provides “anytime, anywhere” access to a wide range of Windows-based research software applications. Windows XP and Windows 7 environments are available.
  • Linux sandbox environments – also based on the VCL: Provides “anytime, anywhere” access to base Linux environments upon which you can build a customized Linux environment for your research needs. Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, Scientific Linux and Fedora base environments are available.




Services are available 24/7 other than during planned maintenance periods or unanticipated emergencies (such as loss of commercial power to the data center). As the compute clusters comprise large numbers of pieces of commodity hardware, at any point in time, an individual server may not be available.


Help and more information

For additional information about computing resources, visit, email or contact Michael Barker,, 919-962-4314.