Oklahoma is Leader in Cyberinfrastructure Expansion

Brian BurkhartOklahoma is leading the way in expanding cyberinfrastructure (CI) across the state’s higher education system. CI is designed to support high-performance research computing and high-speed data transfer for Oklahoma’s researchers, faculty and staff. CI advances innovation, discovery and learning.

Oklahoma’s higher education system now hosts supercomputers at seven campuses — Langston University, Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, and University of Oklahoma. Grants and equipment donations have funded some of the complicated infrastructure required for these computing resources.

OneOklahoma Friction Free Network

These supercomputers are connected across the state by OneNet’s OneOklahoma Friction Free Network (OFFN). As Oklahoma’s Science DMZ, OFFN is a 10 and 100 Gbps network that provides higher education institutions with a dedicated alternative route to traditional internet pathways. OFFN is funded by the National Science Foundation and will soon connect a total of 26 higher education locations to the network.

SURF-MORe-OFFN Network MapOFFN enables universities with supercomputers to share their resources with smaller campuses across the state. Campuses like University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Christian University are able to utilize the supercomputers at the other campuses. OFFN allows the smaller campuses to transfer data to the supercomputers for analysis.

This resource collaboration is advancing both research computing and educational initiatives at these smaller campuses. The collaboration provides students with real-world CI experience and prepares them for the workforce. It also keeps students in Oklahoma, because they do not have to transfer to other states to pursue their research or gain CI experience.

CI Investments

National Science Foundation Logo

OFFN and many of the CI resources are possible in part thanks to funding by the National Science Foundation. NSF’s Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) program invests in campus-level CI improvements that support innovation and engineering for science applications and research projects. The program emphasizes learning and workforce development.

Oklahoma’s higher education institutions have received a number of CC* awards that the system has leveraged to expanding CI-supported research computing. The state currently has six active CC* grants. OneNet is implementing three CC* awards to expand OFFN to additional higher education locations across the state. Langston University, Oral Roberts University and University of Oklahoma each have CC* grants to expand computing capabilities on their campuses and share these resources throughout the state.


OneOCII Logo

Not only do the higher education institutions share resources, but they also provide each other support and training on CI projects and research computing initiatives. The OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative (OneOCII) is a statewide all-inclusive advanced digital services collaboration that provides access to CI resources, expertise and education. OneOCII meets weekly to collaborate on advanced computing projects. The institutions that are a part of OFFN also meet weekly to provide support on deploying CI equipment and expanding supercomputing.

CI investments and collaboration foster science, innovation and new discoveries across the higher education system. They expose faculty and students to leading research and CI practitioners. These opportunities not only impact education, but enhance Oklahoma’s economic growth by creating a stronger and more diverse workforce.

Learn more! Read about OneNet’s latest OFFN project.

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