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What Is High Performance and Scientific 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.


OIT has two HPC environments, collectively known as ISAACInfrastructure for Scientific Applications and Advanced Computing, that specialize in scientific research. Our High Performance and Scientific Computing (HPSC) team provides various services, including system administration support, scientific computing support, documentation, training, software installation and maintenance, research proposal consultation, and more.  

ISAAC is comprised of two distinct HPC environments to support high performance & scientific computing: the ISAAC Secure Enclave for research with sensitive information and the ISAAC Open Enclave for research not involving any sensitive information.

Multiple ways for you to find information about ISAAC:

  1. Bookmark the 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.


If you have any questions about ISAAC,  submit your questions to the team through the OIT Service Portal.