Priority access to computational resources is obtained through investments in Research Computing. For convenience, these investments are made in fixed units appropriate to the given resources. Currently, there are two computational investment units: compute cores and graphics processing units (referred to as NCUs and NGUs, respectively). In exchange for an investment, the investor receives a fixed allocation determined by the amount of the investment and the current per unit cost. As part of the service level agreement, the resources will normally be available to the research group within minutes of submitting the job requesting the resources, or at most within an hour. These jobs run in the “investor” quality of service (QoS). An extra benefit of investing is that the research group has access to a “burst capacity” equal to 9 times the number of cores in the investment. Jobs submitted to the “burst” QoS will run when there are idle cores available. They may remain in the queue for an indeterminate time, but once they start, will run as normal jobs.

When a request to make an investment is made by submitting an online purchase request form for hardware or services, we try to provision the resources within two business days. However, we do have to verify the validity of the request and the funding sources listed in the request form. When investments are paid by state funds, overhead funds, or departmental funds there is usually no problem. However, when they are paid by grant and contract funds, we need to verify with your grant specialist and the Office of Grants & Contracts that the costs are allowable. See the guide on using grant and contract funds for more information.

It is not required that the faculty member herself or himself has a user account on the system. If no user accounts exist in the group of the faculty sponsor at the time the investment is made, then the resources will be made available with the first request for creation of a user account in the sponsored group.