Running a high performance compute (HPC) and large scale storage environment entails significant upfront and ongoing costs. In the past, such systems at KHP have been funded by separate capital grants. Maintaining funding for these services can be difficult and relying on unpredictable capital grants makes it hard to plan for replacing broken hardware, upgrading systems or expanding services as demand grows.
The Rosalind Partners have set up Rosalind as a Transparent Approach to Costing (TrAC) Research Facility in response to the problems described above. We have calculated the Full Economic Cost of the system, including hardware depreciation; staffing costs; ongoing power, hosting and other running costs; and software licensing costs. The equipment is assumed to have 5 years lifespan These costs are re-assessed annually and must be approved by the College's TrAC accountants.
The TrAC costs are used to calculate per-core-hour and per-GB-year storage prices for the different classes of hardware available on Rosalind. These prices can then be included in grant applications as TrAC is a standard used throughout higher education in the UK and accepted by most funding bodies.
Costs and Prices will be re-calculated and re-approved annually based on actual costs.
Income will be spent with the overall aim of allowing the facility to continue to operate in a sustainable manner. In general this means that income will be spent on additional production data processing nodes or production data storage equipment. The proportion of income spent on particular types of processing nodes or on data processing equipment will be based on current and future usage metrics. For example, if a large new research grant is tied to usage of GPU nodes, the income from the grant will spent largely on nodes of this type.
The Rosalind Partners are happy to work with Researchers to get Rosalind usage included in grant applications.
The facility will include an amount of free capacity. There no final decision yet but it will be decided in the level of partners.
There will be two levels of free usage:
Technical staff will decide the number queues and the number of islands of capacity based on the workloads to be processed and the numbers of charged and free customers. In the event of contention, in general priority will be given to charged usage rather than free usage.
In special circumstances, such as an important research deadline, particular jobs may be granted temporarily increased priority by the technical staff.
All relevant users will be given reasonable notice of changes to scheduling and be given a chance to object or give comment.