Managing allocations and charges

Adding and removing user accounts | Charges and monitoring

Actively managing and monitoring your allocation of computing and storage resources will help ensure that you use these resources as efficiently as possible.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Establish user accounts only for appropriate personnel and make users aware of relevant responsibilities and best practices.
  • Request removal of users' accounts when the individuals are no longer associated with your project.
  • Use the Systems Accounting Manager (SAM) to monitor charges against your allocation.

Allocations are made to the project lead who is designated in the allocation request. The project lead often is the principal investigator (PI) for the associated funding awards, but need not be.

The project lead may designate a project administrator (project admin) who can request actions on behalf of the project, such as adding or removing users. To designate a project admin, submit a request through the NCAR Research Computing support portal.

Adding and removing user accounts

On the allocation request form, you have the opportunity to identify users who are authorized to share access to a project's allocation. PIs, project leads, and project admins can add new users to their projects any time after receiving an allocation award.

To add new user accounts for a project, send a request through the support portal or call 303-497-2400.

Include the user's name, email address, phone number, and a full shipping address for delivery of the new user's authentication token. You do not need to include a shipping address if the user already has a CISL token.

A PI, project lead, or project admin can deauthorize or remove a user from a project by contacting CISL..

Charges and monitoring

Specifying project to be charged

A user account must be associated with at least one allocated project and may be associated with more than one. You will have an alphanumeric project code for each such project. These project codes are used to charge your use of computing and storage resources against the appropriate allocations. Take care to specify the correct project code when you submit jobs or write files to HPSS.

  • Compute jobs: Even if you have only one project code, you must specify the project code to be charged when you submit a job.
  • HPSS: For HPSS activity, your default project is charged automatically unless you specify a different project when writing data to the system. How to do that and how to change your default project are described in our HPSS documentation.

Charges for computing

Charges for using the HPC systems are assessed in adjusted core-hours, which is essentially the number of processor cores used multiplied by the duration of the job in hours and modified by queue priority.

If you are concerned about your usage rate, contact CISL for guidance on running jobs more efficiently and conserving your allocation. Sometimes jobs can be configured to make better use of the processors, and you may be able to save core-hours by running in a less expensive queue. Seek help from us if you notice anything amiss with your allocation.

Exclusive nodes

Jobs that run in the exclusive-use queues are charged for use of the all of the cores on each node by this formula:

wall-clock hours × nodes used × cores per node × queue factor

Shared nodes

Charges for jobs submitted through shared-use queues are calculated using this formula:

core-seconds/3600 (core-hours)

In this case, core-hours are derived from the recorded UNIX processor-seconds consumed by the job divided by 3600 (to convert seconds to hours).

Tracking usage

If you have a user account for an HPC system that CISL manages, you can track your usage in the Systems Accounting Manager (SAM). SAM reports show usage data and charges against your allocations. Charges for computing are calculated and updated daily; storage use reports are updated weekly.