HPC Midlands+ Regional HPC Centre

HPC Midlands+ overview

The HPC Midlands+ Regional HPC Centre was created in January 2017 with investment of £3.2 million from EPSRC  and contributions from the 7 partners - Loughborough University (Lead Site), Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick, and Queen Mary, University of London.

The HPC Midlands+ contract was awarded to ClusterVision in partnership with Huawei. The central components of the service are:

  • 512 compute nodes each with 128 GB memory and 2x14 core Intel Broadwell processors, giving 14,336 cores
  • 4 OpenPOWER nodes each with 1 TB memory and 2 Power8 processors each with 10 cores, giving 80 cores
  • 1 OpenPOWER node with 2 NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs, 1 TB memory and 2 Power8 processors each with 10 cores
  • Parallel filesystem with over 1 PB of useable storage
  • 10 TB SSD filestore for pre-staging data to the OpenPOWER nodes

Standard job limits on this service will be 756 cores (27 nodes) per job, maximum walltime 100 hours; additionally, the maximum cores summed over all running jobs per user is 2000.

There is a quick-start guide to this service with the current applications list on the HPC Midlands+ applications page.

Support for HPC Midlands+ users

First-line support is from the IT Service desk at Birmingham. Please open a call using 'Make a Request' and then ‘Other BEAR Request' if you have any problems with, or questions about, this service

Requesting access to HPC Midlands+ resources

Allocations are made from HPC Midlands+ to the partner sites every 6 months, on 1 January and 1 July. The University of Birmingham has approximately 6.8million CPUhs per 6-month period to distribute to local projects. This is a hard limit set by HPC Midlands+ and the total allocations made to University projects in any allocation period cannot exceed this limit. The exact resource allocated to partner sites each period depends on how many non-consortium awards have been made but will always be approximately 6.8million CPUhs.

There are 2 types of project that may be applied for:

  • start-up project that offers 50,000 CPUhs
  • substantial projects which greater resources. Applications for substantial projects are reviewed by a sub-committee of the Research Computing Management Committee

Requesting access for a start-up project

Start-up projects are allocated 50,000 CPUhs and are granted with minimum formality provided that the applicant has used BlueBEAR and has shown need for more resources than can be offered on BlueBEAR. No member of staff can hold more than 2 start-up projects in a 6-monthly allocation period and no more than 3 on a rolling annual basis. There are 10 start-up projects available in each allocation period. All such projects will terminate at the end of the allocation period in which they are granted; there will be no carry-forward from one period to the next.

Applications for start-up projects must be made by a member of staff with a current BlueBEAR project. Please complete this form to apply for a start-up project. A copy of the form can optionally be mailed back to you for reference.

If the project request is approved, the next stage is to apply for a username on HPC Midlands+. All registration requests require approval by IT Services, and no request will be approved unless it is associated with an active HPC Midlands+ project.

Requesting access for a substantial project

The bulk of our allocation of CPUhs, approximately 6.3million CPUhs per period, is available for substanitial projects.

The procedure for requesting a substantial project is as follows:

  • applications for substantial projects must be made by a member of staff with a current BlueBEAR project.
  • internal calls will be made every 6 months. These calls will be in early November for projects to start on 1 January the following year, and in early May for projects to start in July. The closing date for the calls will be the 1st of December and 1st of June. The proposals will be reviewed by a sub-committee of the Research Computing Management Committee and applicants notified of the outcome by the 15th of December and 15th June.
  • substantial projects will be of 6 months duration, since they are intended to achieve a defined piece of work, and will commence at the start of a 6-month allocation period. You can request a new allocation for an existing project by giving the project name (a11- code) as the description of the project.
  • these will require an estimation of the resources (compute and storage) required and on what basis the estimated resources are based.
  • a scientific justification for resources, including anticipated outcomes, will also be required. If the project has already been awarded a peer-reviewed grant, such as Research Council or charity funding, the award reference can be quoted instead of this scientific justification.

Please complete this form to apply for a substantial project. A copy of the form can optionally be mailed back to you for reference.

If the project request is approved, the next stage is to apply for a username on HPC Midlands+. All registration requests require approval by IT Services, and no request will be approved unless it is associated with an active HPC Midlands+ project.

 


Last modified: 19th December 2018