Information Technology Services (ITS) provides comprehensive information technology services with a state-of-the-art IT environment to support teaching, learning, research and administration of the University. Its facilities include an advanced campus network, powerful central servers, high-performance computer (HPC) clusters, cloud computing and modern learning environment, and its services include unified communication, portal services, learning management system “Moodle” and web-based administrative applications.
HKU PORTAL SERVICES
ITS runs 24-hour, non-stop system and network services to support the IT needs of the University. All students are given a computer account, identified uniquely by an HKU Portal UID (User Identification) and an associated PIN (Personal Identification Number), for accessing a wide range of network services and applications conveniently.
The HKU Portal provides a user-friendly and easy-to-access interface for University members to access all the centrally provided IT services including services offered under the Student Information System (SIS), electronic mail, learning management system, web-based administrative applications, and Library services through a high-speed campus network.
COMPUTER AND RESEARCH SUPPORT FACILITIES
Powerful central computer servers support various web-based applications, departmental web sites and electronic email. Software packages for supporting engineering computation, scientific applications, simulations, graphics applications and statistical analysis are installed on these servers for use by staff and students.
ITS provides expertise and central support in high performance computing (HPC) and Cloud/Grid Computing to facilitate compute-intensive research activities of the University. A new 2,320-core HPC system (theoretical peak power of 103.4 Tera-FLOPS) equipped with the latest technologies, including GPGPU, MIC and Luster file-system, has just been put into service for supporting compute-intensive and accelerated computing. In addition, a 2,256-core 64-bit HPC system (theoretical peak power of 29.15 Tera-FLOPS) serving as the Hong Kong node of the China National Grid (CNGrid), is supported by ITS for shared use with the Department of Computer Science for supporting multi-disciplinary researches and systems research.
HKU CAMPUS NETWORK
ITS has installed a high-speed and sophisticated campus network based on 10-Gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet technologies with over 49,000 network access points installed which links together all the computer servers, workstations and PCs in the main and remote campuses.
Wireless access to the campus network and Internet is provided by over 4,300 WiFi access points and is available in all centrally-administered classrooms, public areas in the main campus, department offices and halls of student residence. Additionally, students can also enjoy WiFi access off-campus at PCCW and Y5Zone WiFi hotspots in town, and at other local and overseas universities using “Universities WiFi” and international “eduroam” capability respectively.
The University of Hong Kong is a member of the Joint Universities Computer Centre (JUCC) that manages HARNET (the Hongkong Academic and Research NETwork) and coordinates inter-campus network services among the eight tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. The HKU campus network is connected to other tertiary institutions in Hong Kong through a resilient optical network backbone of HARNET that is built on the most advanced optical network platform supporting two 10Gbps ports at each institution to cater for future expansion. HARNET is connected to mainland China’s CERNET (China Education and Research Network) and TEIN (Trans Eurasia Information Network) in Europe through the high-speed connections of HARNET. The University also connects to mainland China’s CSTNET (China Science and Technology Network), ASGCNET (Academia Sinica Grid Computing Network) in Taiwan and KREONET (Korea Research Environment Open Network) in Korea.
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients. ITS has implemented a private cloud infrastructure to better support the University’s dynamic computing needs. The service portfolio includes provision of Platform as a Service (PaaS) in the first instance followed by application Software as a Service (SaaS).
ITS manages the central learning environment of the University, which comprises classrooms, lecture theatres and learning commons. A wide variety of the latest IT and audio visual facilities are available for use by students and staff members. PC software packages, including word-processing, web page design, graphical and multimedia tools, and statistical analysis are available on PCs. Laser printing services are also provided in the learning commons at nominal charges. Apart from the central learning environment managed by ITS, PC laboratories are also available at the Faculties.
ITS provides a wide range of IT support services to members of the University. Orientation courses are offered to new students at the start of each academic year. Regular IT seminars, induction courses and training workshops on popular IT topics and commonly used software packages are also held throughout the year. Students may visit ITS’ General Enquiry Counter and Service Desk on the 1/F of Library Building (Old Wing) or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get assistance in using the central computing and network services.