TACC Allocations Overview


 

Overview

TACC enhances the research and education of the computational science community at UT and its partners by providing access to advanced computing technologies. TACC's unique and valuable resources include high-performance computing, scientific visualization, and data storage systems. The policies and procedures we have implemented to ensure a fair and efficient allocation of these resources are described below.

Eligibility

Allocations on TACC resources are available to faculty and staff at UT Austin, UT System, and Texas higher educational institutions and to US academic researchers through the NSF-funded XSEDE project. Eligible UT Austin, UT System, and Texas higher education users can request TACC allocations or XSEDE allocations; other US academic researchers must request XSEDE allocations.

Allocations on TACC resources are also available to members of the Global Academic Supercomputing Consortium (GASC) program and individuals and groups that engage in collaborative research and development activities with TACC. Most levels of the TACC industrial affiliates program, Science and Technology Affiliates for Research (STAR), provide allocations on TACC resources.

The following table indicates the resources available to the various TACC communities.

 

 

UT Austin

UT System

TACC Partners

Texas Higher Education

US Open Science (NSF)

Industry

Compute

Ranger

X

X

 

X

X

X

Lonestar

X

X

X

 

X

 

Visualization

Longhorn

X

X

 

X

X

X

Spur

X

X

 

X

X

X

Stallion

X

 

 

 

 

 

ACES Vislab Sony Projection System

X

 

 

 

 

 

ACES Collaboration Room

X

 

 

 

 

 

ACES Vislab Workstations

X

 

 

 

 

 

Data

Corral

X

 

 

 

 

 

Ranch

X

 

 

 

 

 



The rest of this document refers to TACC allocations.

Allocation Policies & Procedures

All TACC resources are allocated on a project basis to a single principal investigator (PI). Faculty and research staff can serve as TACC project PIs. Graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and undergraduates should have their UT advisor assume the responsibilities of project PI and submit the allocations request.

There are three types of project allocations: startup, research, and instructional.

Startup project allocations are meant to provide the PI with adequate allocation to build a case for a research or instructional project. These projects will typically receive small allocations with short durations. PIs can apply for a startup project allocation at any time.

Research project allocations support the computational needs of the scientific community. Research project allocations begin on calendar quarters, are normally for one year, and must be renewed annually for multi-year projects. Requests for new research allocations and renewals must be submitted 30 days prior to the start of the allocation period. Requests submitted after the due date will be considered for the next allocation period. PIs can apply for startup project allocations until the next research project quarterly deadline. Multi-year research project allocations can be granted as part of proposal submission by negotiation with TACC during proposal preparation. Such multi-year allocations are also reviewed annually to ensure continued need and effective utilization of the resource.

Instructional project allocations support academic classes, with limited allocation sizes and for only certain TACC resources. Instructional project allocations will last for the duration of the class plus 14 days.

Requests for allocations on all TACC resources must be made using the TACC Allocations Request System. This includes TACC high performance computing systems, visualization resources, and storage systems. If awarded an allocation, the PI will receive a login and initial password with which to access the appropriate resource. The PI can then create additional logins enabling other members of his/her research group to have access to the resource. However, the PI is responsible for ensuring that all users on the project allocation use TACC resources in accordance with the TACC Usage Policies. Failure to do so can result in immediate cancellation of the allocations and closure of the logins.

Users are expected to become familiar with the information in the User Services sections of the TACC web site in order to select the appropriate type and amount of TACC resources.

High Performance Computing

When applying for an allocation on a HPC system you will be asked to estimate the number of system units (SU) you will require for the project. The following table indicates how SUs are calculated on each system:

System Service Units
Sun Constellation Cluster (Ranger) Number of cores x wall-clock time of the job
Dell Linux Cluster (Lonestar) Number of cores x wall-clock time of the job


Allocation limits for Research Projects are listed below:

Research Project

 

Max Individual Request

Requires Committee Review

Sun Constellation Cluster (Ranger)

500,000

500,001 - 1,000,000

Dell Linux Cluster (Lonestar)

500,000

500,001 - 1,000,000



Allocation limits for Startup and Instructional Projects are listed below:

Startup and Instructional Projects

 

Startup

Instructional

Sun Constellation Cluster (Ranger)

up to 50,000

up to 100,000

Dell Linux Cluster (Lonestar)

up to 50,000

up to 10,000



Scientific Visualization

An ACES Vislab allocation includes accounts on one or more Vislab rendering systems. To apply for an ACES Vislab allocation, consider which rendering systems your project requires and estimate the number of hours you will need to reserve the ACES Visualization Laboratory. If you are a new user of the facility, you will be required to attend an orientation training session before logins will be activated.

Allocations on the Visualization & Data Analysis cluster, Longhorn, and the Sun Visualization cluster, Spur, are requested seperately from Vislab resources. In estimating the number of SUs to request on these clusters, consider the number of core hours you will require for you visualization needs.

Data Storage

All users of active projects automatically receive an allocation on the data archive system (Ranch). Currently there is no quota for individual users or projects on the archive system. However, during the allocation request process you will be asked to estimate the amount of archive disk space your project will require.

To use the Data Applications Facility (Corral), you will need to provide the amount of storage required over the life of your project, not to exceed 15 TB. A quota will be set based on your request but you will be able to request additional space through the allocation process. This space will NOT be backed up or purged; you must move or copy data to the data archive system if long term retention is desired.

The duration of a Data Applications Facility allocation will be one year. Users can apply for an allocation renewal at the end of the period. Failure to apply for a renewal will result in deletion of all data and the space will become available for use by other users.

Allocation Management

A PI can add users to his/her project by requesting additional login identifiers via the TACC User Portal. Using the portal, PIs can also request new project allocations, update existing project information, and request additional allocations for current projects. Future portal enhancements will enable the PI to view allocation usage and balance information for all projects and users.

Application Deadlines

The following table describes the application deadlines for each allocation request period:

New/Renewal Request Due By Allocation Period
December 1 January - March
March 1 April - June
June 1 July - September
September 1 October - December


Applying for an Allocation

To apply for allocations on TACC systems, request project allocations using the Allocations tab available through the TACC User Portal. Users must be logged in to access the Projects and Allocations section of the portal. For more information on requesting an allocation see the new user guide.