Getting started with HPC at UniSA

In 2022, the University of South Australia became a member of Intersect Australia and acquired access to high-performance computing (HPC) from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) through the Intersect-NCI partnership. This means staff and students at the University of South Australia now have access to NCI’s supercomputer ‘Gadi,’ which replaces the local Tango 2.0 HPC system. Gadi is Australia’s most powerful supercomputer, a highly parallel cluster comprising more than 200,000 processor cores on ten different types of compute nodes. Gadi accommodates a wide range of tasks, from running climate models to genome sequencing, from designing molecules to astrophysical modelling.

Gadi (pronounced ‘gar dee’) means ‘to search for’ in the language of the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the Canberra region, where Gadi is located.

Accessing Gadi

In order to access Gadi, it is necessary to register as a user with NCI here. The procedure for registering as a user is outlined below. In order to use NCI resources (i.e., Gadi), after obtaining access, it is necessary to either join a project during signup or propose a new project after signup. If you are joining a project, it is necessary to have the NCI project code ready: this can be obtained from the Chief Investigator (CI) of the project.

Note: NCI does not permit users to have multiple user accounts. If you have had an NCI user account previously, perhaps through another project or institution, you will need to contact NCI Helpdesk to reactivate your account.

Registering as an NCI user

  1. Check the 3 tick boxes to agree with the NCI conditions of use. Click ‘Next.’
  2. Enter your email address, name, and phone number. Click ‘Next.’
  3. Select your project affiliation, either:

    • I need to join one or more existing projects. (A Project ID is required for this option.)
    • I intend to propose a new project. (See the instructions below.)
    • I don’t need to join any project at this stage. Click ‘Next.’
  4. Select your organisation and list your position (e.g., Researcher, Post-doc, etc.). Click ‘Next.’
  5. Confirm details and enter a password for use with this account.

You will receive an email from NCI to confirm your registration. Follow the instructions in the email to complete the registration process. You will then be allocated a username and this will be emailed to you. It is not possible to access Gadi until you have this username.

Proposing a new project

The process for proposing a new project is outlined below. It does not need to be completed in one session: your work will be automatically saved at the end of each step, or you can select ‘Save draft’, and you can log out and return later to complete the proposal. Once completed, your project will be assessed by the Intersect HPC Administrator and, if approved, you will be allocated resources within the scope of the UniSA agreement.

NOTE: Projects involving HDR students should have the Principal Supervisor as the Project Lead/Lead CI, with the student/s added as project team members. There is no difference in privileges or functionality available – the default is the same for all roles. The Lead CI only has additional privileges in terms of membership approvals and resource requests.

  1. Log in to NCI with the email address and password created in Steps 1-5 above. You do not need your NCI-allocated username at this stage, but you will need to have confirmed your registration. Click on ‘Propose a project’ as indicated by the arrow in the following image, then click ‘Next.’

2. Enter details of your project: aims, methodology, expected outcomes. You should include the HPC resources you will require. Click ‘Next.’

3. Enter the ANZSRC Field of Research Code/s and Socio-Economic Objective Code/s. Click ‘Next.’

4. Allocate weightings to ANZSRC Codes. Click ‘Next.’

5. Select an allocation scheme. This will be Intersect-UniSAClick ‘Next.’

6. Select ‘Gadi (at NCI)’ under ‘Systems.’ Click ‘Next.’

7. If you know your resource requirements, change the kSU value/s in the corresponding quarterly dates. If you do not know yet, leave at 1. Click ‘Next.’

8. Add other project team members. Search by surname, email address or username. Click ‘Next.’

Note: In order to add team members, they must have already registered and confirmed their accounts.

9. Accept the Terms and Conditions of Use by selecting one of the three options.

  • If you intend to access NCI resources (i.e., Gadi) from Australia and do not need a Defence Trade Control Act (2012, Cth) permit, select Option 1
  • If you intend to access NCI resources (i.e., Gadi) from overseas and do not need a Defence Trade Control Act (2012, Cth) permit, select Option 2. (This option would apply to international students accessing Gadi from their home country.)
  • If you do need a Defence Trade Control Act (2012, Cth) permit, select Option 3. Click ‘Next.’

10. Review project details and click ‘Submit proposal’ when you are ready.

Next steps

You will receive an email from asking you to confirm your registration. Once complete, your NCI username will be emailed to you. Usernames are currently in the form of two letters followed by four numbers (i.e. ab1234).

Additional information

The following articles on the NCI Confluence page provide additional information:

Last updated: 02 Sep 2022

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