High Performance Computing (HPC) at Bath
What is HPC?
HPC stands for High Performance Computer, although it may also be used to mean High Performance Computing (or Computation). Other similar, related terms are 'supercomputing' and 'scientific computing'. At Bath, you may also hear the current centrally maintained machine referred to by its name, 'Aquila'.
A high performance computer such as Aquila may take a number of different forms. Some of you may have heard of the more custom machine makes such as Cray. More commonly these days, we find that our machines are a type of cluster (eg a Beowulf), running a version of the Linux operating system. More than 90% of the machines in the Top 500 list are of this type, as is ours.
Who can use HPC?
The HPC is provided for the use of researchers at the University of Bath, although to a lesser degree it is also used for teaching.
What can it be used for?
There are many uses of HPC, depending on whether you simply want to get through a lot of data (capacity computing) or need something with a lot of power to get things done in a reasonable amount of time (capability computing). Our users run a variety of programs on the central machine, working on a range of problems including but not limited to meteorological simulations, molecular interaction simulations, X-ray crystallography, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and large-scale statistical analyses,
What are the benefits?
- Specialist knowledge and support
- Rapid turnaround
- High throughput
- Large range of scientific software pre-configured for your use
How do I get access to it?
Contact your departmental HPC Champion, who will be able to talk to you about the HPC and give you access to the low-priority free queue so that you can have a look around. After that, if you find that you need resources you may want to consider paying for access to the higher priority queues, which allow larger and longer-running jobs. If you decide that you need to do this, you should contact the HPC support team.
How do I log in?
Access to the HPC is via SSH.
Where can I get help?
Is there a FAQ?
Yes, there is an FAQ on the wiki.