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High Performance Computing
Different HPC systems exhibit different capabilities. Some enable users to run a single instance of parallel software over thousands of CPUs, whereas others are more suited to running hundreds of individual instances of software in parallel on the same time, sometimes called High-Throughput Computing (HTC).
ITS currently provides a HPC service to researchers and research students affiliated with the University of Melbourne (named edward), which provides over 700 compute cores. In addition to the standard compute nodes, there are two dedicated GPGPU nodes with two GPGPUs each. More detail can be found in the Service Definition.
Sounds confusing? Expert help and guidance is available to point you in the right direction. Training is also available, so please get in touch with us. We also run the monthly Melbourne HPC Forum where researchers involved in HPC get together on the first Thursday of every month.
Options available to University of Melbourne researchers
Researchers have the following options for gaining access to high-performance comptuing resources:
- Through your department or research discipline area.
- If available, this is usually the best and easiest option: it will probably have appropriate applications already installed, and the managers will be familiar with the type of problems you are likely to have. Make sure you ask about the availability of a local cluster, a collaborative cluster or other options.
- Through ITS Research Services.
- We provide a basic HPC system (edward). In addition, Research Services can provide advice and consultation services to assist you both with access to services and with transitioning your problem to a HPC system.
- Through merit allocation processes.
- Large "capability" systems such as Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI) and the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) National Facility provide access to their systems through a "merit allocation" process, where potential users submit applications for the amount of HPC resources required to solve a specific problem. Note, you will usually need to be experienced in HPC to qualify. For more information, or to apply, please follow the links above.
- Through the University's membership of VPAC.
- In addition to the services above, the University is a member of Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing. University of Melbourne researchers and students have access on a fee-for-service basis to VPAC services, including HPC cycles, training, consultation and other specialist services such as GPU computing. To access these services please contact us.
Getting access to our HPC resources
- 1. Request access
- Apply for access to the edward HPC cluster. Note, all edward accounts are associated with Projects. On the application page you can either apply for a new project or apply to join an existing project. Basic accounts have access to a maximum of 64 cores and have a 10GB disc allocation and each project has an initial disc allocation of 100GB.
- 2. Request additional resources
- If the resources available under basic access are insufficient or you require additional assistance, please contact us using the enquiry form explaining what you need and why. (Note, you must already have an edward account.)
Bewildered? Not sure?
Do you need some more help getting to grips with HPC? Use the enquiry form and tell us about the size and nature of your computation problem, whether you are analysing data or generating data, and about any software or hardware you are currently using.