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What Is High-Performance Computing?

High-performance computing (HPC) generally refers to the practice of aggregating computing power in a way that delivers much higher performance than one could get out of a typical, single desktop computer or workstation to solve large problems in science, engineering, or business.

ISAAC — Infrastructure of Scientific Applications and Advance Computing

OIT’s High Performance and Scientific Computing (HPSC) team offers two HPC environments, collectively known as ISAACInfrastructure for Scientific Applications and Advanced Computing, that specialize in scientific research.

  • ISAAC Secure Enclave for research with sensitive information
  • ISAAC Open Enclave for research not involving any sensitive information.

The HPSC team provides various services, including system administration support, scientific computing support, documentation, training, software installation and maintenance, research proposal consultation, and more. Request assistance with ISAAC by submitting your questions to the HPSC team through the OIT HelpDesk.

Multiple ways to find information about ISAAC

  1. Visit the OIT HPSC website,
  2. Search on the UTK homepage. Go to and enter your search terms in the search box at the bottom of the page. High performance computing, high performance scientific computing, and ISAAC will return results that reference the OIT HPSC page.
  3. Search on the OIT website. Go to and enter your search criteria. Use the same search terms as above or use research computing.  Research computing will provide broader information about how OIT supports research with links to the HPSC page.

Additional Resources

Visit our OIT Research Support websites to learn more about:

  • Research Computing Support (RCS)
  • High Performance & scientific Computing (HPSC)
  • Guide to Sensitive Information in Research