High Performance Computing Terms of Use

The University of Sydney provides a high performance computing (HPC) fully managed service to the University research community. The service can be used for complex jobs that are difficult or impossible to perform on a standard computer by enabling users to run many processing jobs with different parameters or input files in reduced time. The service is available to all University of Sydney researchers with an approved Research Data Management Plan on file with the Office of Research.

In order to enable research with today’s (and tomorrow’s) data sets, the University seeks to provide researchers with a world-class infrastructure for research computation beyond that which can be provided by personal computers, that is responsive to their needs and enhances the reputation of the University in the research community.


  1. These Terms of Use (Terms) govern The University of Sydney HPC Service (HPC Service).
  2. Your access to and use of the HPC Service is subject to these Terms.
  3. Please carefully read these Terms before you use the HPC Service. In using and continuing to use the HPC Service, you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you do not accept these Terms, you should not continue to use the HPC Service.

This section contains the following topics:

Usage Policies


The University of Sydney HPC Service resources are deployed, configured, and operated to serve a large, diverse user community. It is important that all users are aware of and abide by the following University of Sydney Policies:

Failure to do so may result in suspension or cancellation of the project and associated allocation and closure of all associated logins. Illegal activity will be addressed through The University of Sydney and/or legal authorities.

Changes to these Terms


The University of Sydney (University) reserves the right to amend these Terms from time to time at its own discretion by posting the changed Terms at http://sydney.edu.au/research_support/hpc/. The amended Terms will take effect when they are uploaded to http://sydney.edu.au/research_support/hpc/. Your continued use of the HPC Service will represent an agreement by you to be bound by the Terms as amended.

Use of Export Controlled Software and Data


Lead Chief Investigators (LCI) and users agree to not install or use any software or data that falls under Export Control regulations of any country. Violations of these Terms will result in the immediate removal of said software and/or data and deactivation of related projects, allocations, and user accounts.

Software


Use of any software available on Artemis HPC is subject to the specific licence terms of each software package. Special licence terms and conditions, such as citation requirements, are documented on the installed Artemis HPC software list.

Security


Users must maintain the security of The University of Sydney HPC systems and resources by observing the following:

  • login identifiers belong to a specific individual and must not be shared under any circumstances; LCIs can request new logins as needed;
  • login identifier passwords must never be revealed to others. All activity on the HPC Service that occurs under a user’s login is the user’s responsibility and the University may treat it as having been done by the user. A user must notify the University immediately if there is any unauthorized use of a user’s login identifier; and
  • LCIs are responsible for notifying University of Sydney HPC staff when login identifiers should be deactivated due to the departure of the owner or termination of the project.

Utilisation


The University of Sydney HPC staff have documented the purpose and proper use of resources and services via a series of user guides and other web-based documents available on The University of Sydney HPC web site at http://sydney.edu.au/research_support/hpc/ and The University of Sydney HPC User Portal. Users are responsible for becoming familiar with this documentation, particularly relating to issues such as adherence to resource limits, proper and considerate use of the batch queuing system, understanding the purpose and proper use of file systems and storage services, and proper use of The University of Sydney HPC facilities.

The University of Sydney HPC allocations should be used only for work directly related to the project for which the allocation was requested and granted. The University of Sydney HPC systems, facilities and services should only be used for documented or obvious intended purpose. Examples of improper use include the following:

  • Using the high-performance systems to run applications that can be executed on basic PCs and workstations;
  • Using the high-performance system to access, download or upload any illegal data regardless of association to the project use; and
  • Using storage systems for backing up data that is not related to the project allocation.
  • The login or front-end nodes of The University of Sydney HPC compute and visualisation clusters are reserved for compiling, loading, and preparing to submit jobs to run in a batch queue. Running compute or I/O bound processes on these nodes will cause excess overhead and affect the ability of the general user community to use the systems effectively. Processes inappropriate to execute on these nodes will automatically be stopped and the user notified. Users repeatedly violating these Terms will be denied access to the system and must contact The University of Sydney HPC staff before access is restored.

The University of Sydney Research Data Storage (RDS) is intended to provide the user community with a high-speed, shared storage facility that is available to applications that span multiple University of Sydney HPC compute and visualisation resources. Data stored on RDS must be associated with research projects for which a Research Data Management Plan exists. Users storing data not meeting this criterion will be contacted and may lose all rights to use The University of Sydney HPC resources. All users are responsible for reading the information contained in the appropriate system User Guide. Users needing additional storage on a single University of Sydney RDS allocation should request the change by updating the associated Research Data Management Plan.

Account Deactivation


An account may be deactivated in the following circumstances:

  1. a LCI of an active project requests the deactivation of an account;
  2. the project expires and is not renewed;
  3. any violation of The University of Sydney HPC Terms or any other University of Sydney policies; and
  4. time-based account locking. (Here, "account" is used to mean a login.)

1. LCI Request
An account deactivation request by a LCI will result in the account being denied access to use the HPC Service. If the user does not have access to another active project, the user’s data in their home directory and volatile storage areas will be backed up to RDS and made available to the LCI.

2. Project Expiration
Upon project expiration, all accounts (LCI and user) will be immediately denied access to the allocation. All batch and remote job submissions will subsequently be rejected. (LCIs are notified, and reminded, of their project expiration 1 month and 1 week and 24hrs, respectively, before the project expires; renewal requests must be received at least 5 days prior to the end of the project period.) These actions will be applied to all affected accounts.

3. Violation of The University of Sydney HPC Terms
Any user account determined by The University of Sydney HPC staff to be in violation of The University of Sydney HPC Terms or any other University of Sydney policy will immediately be denied access to all University of Sydney HPC resources. The project LCIs responsible for the account and the user will be contacted immediately and informed of the violation and access denial. For security purposes, denial is immediately imposed before contacting the user/users involved. Allocation and usage policies are defined at the following URL: http://sydney.edu.au/research_support/hpc/.

4. Account Inactivity
User accounts will be deactivated due to inactivity after 120 calendar days. This will be done automatically and users will have to request access to have their account reactivated. Any successful login to a University of Sydney HPC resource (including the University of Sydney HPC User Portal) will reset this timer.

Data retention


Backups of a user's /home directory and user data will be made available only in the event of disaster recovery.

User Support


University of Sydney HPC users are encouraged to request assistance from University of Sydney HPC staff when necessary. All requests for support must be submitted through The University of Sydney TrackIt System: https://sydney.service-now.com/selfservice/.

HPC support staff will provide advice to users regarding the development, porting, debugging, and optimising of codes, and in the proper use of University of Sydney HPC resources.

University of Sydney HPC User News


Information regarding important University of Sydney HPC activities, including system availability and upgrades, University of Sydney HPC training classes, allocation renewal notifications, and coverage will be communicated to the user community via University of Sydney Research News. Upon receiving an allocation the LCI is automatically subscribed to all relevant University of Sydney HPC User News categories, as is any user for which the LCI creates a login. Users may unsubscribe from University of Sydney HPC User News, but still assume the responsibility for the information contained therein.

University of Sydney HPC Citation


Please reference The University of Sydney HPC in any research report, research data collection metadata record, journal or publication that requires citation of any author's work. The recognition of The University of Sydney HPC resources you used to perform research is important for acquiring funding for the next generation hardware, support services, and our Research & Development activities in HPC, visualisation, data storage, and grid infrastructure.

The minimal content of a citation should include: The University of Sydney HPC Service

Our suggested acknowledgements


Our suggested acknowledgements are:

  • Acknowledgement of these services
    Acknowledgement of these services, provided at no cost to researchers by the University of Sydney and the Sydney Informatics Hub, is crucial in ensuring ongoing support for the Artemis HPC, personnel and other research infrastructure provided by the Core Research Facilities. It also forms part of the user agreement for accessing these services.
  • Research report, journal or publication
    The authors acknowledge the University of Sydney HPC service at The University of Sydney for providing {HPC, visualisation, database, or grid} resources that have contributed to the research results reported within this paper.
    URL: http://sydney.edu.au/research_support/
  • Research data collection metadata record
    The authors acknowledge the University of Sydney HPC service at The University of Sydney for providing {HPC, visualisation, database, or grid} resources that have contributed to the production or processing of the data contained within this data collection.
    URL: http://sydney.edu.au/research_support/