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System Access Application

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Researchers can submit proposals for access to HPC resources operated by the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing (PC²).  System access is granted in a science-guided  competitive process based on a technical and scientific review of the proposed project and the verification of the eligibility of the principal investigator. For low computing resource demands and teaching purposes, simplified rules apply (more details below)

Besides access to HPC we provide a portfolio of preinstalled applications and offer support for software installation/configuration of project-specific applications. We advise our users on using the resources in an efficient way. In particular, we provide specialized consulting services for the user communities of atomistic simulations, optoelectronics and quantum photonics, and machine learning for intelligent systems. Furthermore, PC² encourages approximate computing and the acceleration of applications with Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). Proposals from young scientists and underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.

Please use pc2-support(at)uni-paderborn(dot)de for all communication with PC².

Which HPC resources/systems are available?

The following system are available at PC²:

Main systems:

  1. Noctua
  2. OCuLUS (Owl CLUSter) (till Q1 2022)
  3. Noctua2 (NHR-System, available early 2022)

Special-purpose or systems for closed groups of users:

  1. FPGA Research Clusters
  2. ​​​​​​​Pling3

How to apply for HPC resources?

Scientists can apply for HPC resources required for their research activities. The requested resources are managed as a project with a specified duration of up to one year. If necessary, a project can be renewed after one year by following the process of submitting a new application.
Applications have to be submitted through the Online project application system (PC²-JARDS)  and must comply to the project classification, resource allowance and eligibility criteria listed in the following table.

Project Class Purpose HPC System   Location of Principal Investigator (*) CPU-Core-hours, resp. GPU-Core-Hours, per project Granting period Review Process Remarks
Large
(NHR)
Projects with large resource requirements
(e.g. large research activity)
Noctua
Noctua2**
DE > 12 Mio. CPU core-h,
up to 60 Mio. CPU-core-h for an outstanding proposal
one year four times a year,
technical review and
external scientific peer review
Call for Proposal, a detailed project description must be provided, application must scale to thousands of cores.
This is an NHR-project.
Apply for large project
   
Normal
(NHR)
Projects with medium size resource requirements (e.g. medium-sized research activity, large scale GPU accelerated application) Noctua
Noctua2**
DE > 4 Mio. and <= 12 Mio. CPU-core-h and/or
> 100,000 GPU-h
one year continuous submission,
technical review and
external scientific peer review
Call for Proposal, a detailed project description must be provided.
This is an NHR-project.
Apply for normal project
   
Small Projects with small resource requirements
(e.g. small to medium-sized research activity, FPGA or GPU accelerated application, PhD thesis)
Noctua
OCuLUS
Noctua2**
UPB, NRW (only locations without local/Tier-3 resources) <= 4 Mio. CPU core-h and
<= 100,000 GPU-h
one year continuous submission,
technical review and internal scientific review
Noctua can be used for FPGA-accelerated applications, OCuLUS can be used for GPU-accelerated applications.
Apply for small project
  Project with a special emphasis on FPGA acceleration of HPC codes Noctua
Noctua2**
Global <= 4 Mio. CPU core-h one year continuous submission,
technical review and internal scientific review
Scientists of research and teaching institutions worldwide can be granted access to FPGA systems in the context of a research collaboration with PC².
Apply for small project
  Teaching (courses, Bachelor or Master thesis) OCuLUS 
Noctua
UPB, NRW (only locations without local/Tier-3 resources) <= 100,000 CPU core-h 3 - 6 months continuous submission,
technical review 
Thesis with focus on FPGA-acceleration of HPC codes can be granted access to Noctua.
Apply for small project
 
Test Porting applications, scalability analysis Noctua
OCuLUS

Noctua2**

DE depending on purpose, by default 100,000 CPU core-h, 1,000 GPU-h one month continuous submission,
technical review
Noctua can be used for FPGA-accelerated applications, OCuLUS can be used for GPU-accelerated applications.
Apply for test project

(*) Global= Research and teaching institutions worldwide
     DE = Academic institutions in Germany
     NRW = Research institutions located in North Rhine-Westphalia (State NRW)
     UPB = Paderborn University
(**) Noctua2 available early 2022

Frequently asked questions?

  • Which academic level/title is required for a principal investigator (PI)?
    Answer: The PI needs to be a Professor or the PI needs to have a doctor's degree (Ph.D., Dr.).
  • How many small projects can a PI have?
    Answer: A PI can have multiple small projects but the sum of the granted resources must not exceed the limits for a small project.
  • Can the resources of a project be increased after it has been granted?
    Answer: Yes but different rules apply depending on the project category. Please contact pc2-support(at)uni-paderborn(dot)de.
  • Can projects run for more than one year?
    Answer: Yes, but the computing resources are granted on a yearly basis.

How to get a user account?

  • Members of the Paderborn University have to use their IMT account.
  • Scientists without an IMT account have to apply for an account (pdf).
    Please send the information to pc2-support(at)uni-paderborn(dot)de

How to get support?

How do I have to submit a project report?

Please send the information to pc2-support(at)uni-paderborn(dot)de

Which formal regulations apply?

Resource Access Eligibility Rules

The conditions for accessing our HPC systems are mandated by the grant agreement rules of the funding agency as well as federal law, state law, and university regulations. The eligibility of the applicant is checked as part of the computing time proposal reviewing process.

The most important rules are summarized below.

  1. Our HPC systems shall be primarily used for quality controlled i.e. peer-reviewed research. Use for teaching purposes is also permissible but the amount of resources that can be requested is substantially lower.
  2. Our computing infrastructure is publicly funded and can therefore only be used for research that makes the results available to the general public.
    1. Foundational research funded by DFG or ERC is generally eligible to be executed on our HPC systems.
    2. Collaborative research between academic and industrial partners, e.g. funded by BMBF, BMWi, European Commissions typically also qualifies for being executed on our HPC systems, if the results are public.
    3. Contract research where results are confidential is typically not eligible to be executed on our systems.
  3. The institution association of the principal investigator of a computing time proposal determines which computer systems can be used:
    1. Members of Paderborn University can use our Tier 3 HPC systems (currently Oculus) for small research projects and education as well as a part of our Tier 2 system (currently Noctua) for large research projects free of charge.
    2. Members from research institutions in NRW that do not operate HPC systems can use our Tier 3 HPC systems (currently Oculus) for small research projects and education free of charge.
    3. Members from research institutions in NRW can use our Tier 3 HPC systems (currently Oculus) also for large research projects and education free of charge.
    4. Scientists at any research institution in Germany can apply for access for our Tier 2 HPC systems (currently Noctua). The use is free of charge and these applications are evaluated using the review process explained above.
    5. Scientists of research and teaching institutions worldwide can be granted access to selected HPC systems in the context of a research collaboration with PC², e.g., for evaluating novel hard and software technologies. Interested parties are advised to send an informal inquiry to pc2-support(at)uni-paderborn(dot)de before submitting a formal application to discuss the possibilities.
  4. Citizens of countries that are subject to the export control policy of the German Federal Government may need additional authorization from the German Federal Office Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) before they are allowed to use our HPC systems.

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