Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Connects Colleges and Universities With Comcast Business

Pittsburgh, PA

10 Gigabits-per-second ethernet service creates high-capacity private connectivity for eight Pennsylvania schools.

Comcast Business today announced that the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), a nonprofit collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh that offers advanced supercomputing infrastructure for solving large-scale, data-intensive problems in science and engineering, is using Comcast Business Ethernet for secure, private network connections to eight associated colleges and universities. With this agreement, each of these schools can now gain access to advanced computing technologies, offsite data storage capabilities and other major research and education networks.

"The institutions we work with rely on us for three very important things: access to our state-of-the-art offsite data storage facility; use of our supercomputers for advanced mathematical computations, scientific modeling and large-scale data analysis; and high-speed, high-quality connectivity to the Internet," said Ken Goodwin, director of advanced networking at PSC. "Comcast is giving us a way to provide these schools with the same caliber of connectivity that you would expect of a major research institution at a price that can fit within a smaller institution’s budget."

As part of this agreement, Comcast Business is providing PSC with a 10 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) Ethernet Virtual Private Line, which has been allocated into 1 Gbps links to eight members of the  Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP): Carlow University, Geneva College, Juniata College, La Roche College, Point Park University, Saint Francis University, Washington & Jefferson College and Westminster College. The service helps connect these institutions directly to the Three Rivers Optical Exchange (3ROX), a high-speed network hub for Pennsylvania and West Virginia educational institutions managed by PSC.

In addition to providing member institutions with general Internet access, the agreement between 3ROX, Comcast and PSC allows these eight schools to access research resources like PSC’s Data Supercell and its supercomputers via a shared network.

"We’ve invested heavily to ensure that our fiber is readily available across Pennsylvania, which means that smaller educational institutions in more remote areas can now access the same advanced communications network as their peers in more metropolitan areas," said Dave Dombroski, vice president of Comcast Business in the Keystone Region. "This has made us particularly valuable for organizations like PSC, who are able to service a group of colleges on a single network due to their capability to scale bandwidth all the way up to 10 Gbps."

Founded in 1986 and based at Carnegie Mellon University, PSC provides government, industrial and student researchers with access to some of the most advanced high-performance computing, communications and data handling systems nationwide. Supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry, PSC also operates Three Rivers Optical Exchange (3ROX), a high-speed network hub that connects dozens of colleges, universities and K-12 schools in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to online research and educational services and networks that may otherwise be inaccessible to them due to high bandwidth costs.