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hpc.Time Supercomputing FAQ

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Who can get merit subsidies for time.intersect.org.au?

Researchers within Intersect's membership.

Intersect's membership consists of all NSW universities plus other independent research institutions. See the member page for a complete list.


Who needs to apply for HPC Time merit-based resource allocations? 

Everyone who wants fully-subsidised Time resources over and above a start-up account, for use during 2015.

Intersect makes Time available through a merit allocation process. This allocation processs is aligned with NCMAS so that researchers only have to do one round of applications. The call for applications occurs once a year around the end of September. Intersect 2015 merit allocation schemes are open 1 October 2014 and close 31 October 2014.

We encourage users with significant allocation requests (> 50k Service Units / quarter) that consider their projects to meet the criteria of NCMAS, to apply for both the Intersect RAR and NCMAS to maximise your chance of receiving compute time.

Apply here


How are HPC resources allocated?

Requests for merit-subsidised Intersect HPC Resources are assessed and allocated by an independent committee known as the Resource Allocation Committee, made up of representatives from each of Intersect’s member institutions.

Important factors the committee considers to determine the allocation of merit-based subsidises include the quality of the research argument, the track record of previous granted resources and the suitability of the chosen hardware and software. 

Intersect allow has smaller (<20K SUs) HPC resource to allocate throughout year — get in contact if you have a small project and we will try accomodate you if the resources become availible.


How do I acknowledge or attribute fully subsidised resources?

If you have used merit-allocated resources on Orange or NCI via the Intersect partner share, we request that you acknowledge us. The proposed text is:

Computational (and/or storage) resources used in this work were provided by Intersect Australia Ltd.

The full policy can be found here: http://www.intersect.org.au/attribution-policy


I only use Orange, not Raijin. Do I need to apply on the NCI forms? 

Yes. Intersect manages its merit allocation through the NCI and everyone must apply through the same set of forms. In the form, you can specify on which HPC system you want time.

The same project information can be used to apply for RAR and NCMAS. Applications that were not successful for the NCMAS will be reconsidered in the Intersect RAR if a separate application were lodged.


Can I renew my project?

Yes. If you had a previous project with Intersect you can reapply using this form: https://nf.nci.org.au/accounts/projects_renewal/APP_form.php


If I fill out the form now, when do I get my time?

The October 2014 resource allocation is for Time allocations starting at the beginning of 2015.

You will fill out one form for Intersect managed HPC, and on that form you can request time for any and all quarters of 2015, and on one or both machines. If you wish to use the NCMAS as well, then you will have to fill out another form (but you can use the same information). 


Do I also need to apply for accounts?

No. The account application form is the same form as the resource request form.


What is the definition of a service unit (SU)?

A service unit, SU, is defined as 1 hour compute time on 1 core. To account for big memory usage effectively blocking the usage of all cores within a node you are charged an additional SU per 4GB memory and hour on Orange.

For example: if you use 1 core for 1 hour and 8GB memory, you are charged 2 SUs.
Raijin requires you to ask for more cores in order to get more memory for your job. Limits depend on project and queue. Use the command nf_limits on Raijin for details.


What machines will be available in 2015?

Orange and Raijin.

Orange is a NSW-based machine with 1,660 cores owned and run by the Intersect consortium.

Raijin is a National facility with 57,472 cores run by NCI (ACT). Intersect owns a part share of NCI-Raijin for its members.


On which machine should I apply for resources?

Orange and Raijin have fairly similar hardware.

The main differences between the machines are:

  • Orange has more memory per CPU node
  • Raijin has more nodes
  • Raijin has slightly different software installed, where almost all commercial packages are available on Raijin but not on Orange

 

Please note, if you have a modest request (e.g. less than 50k service units per quarter) then it is easier for you if you pick one machine and apply for that rather than spreading your request over two machines.

 

Contact time@intersect.org.au if you have technical HPC questions regarding your application.