Usage model and joining¶
Aalto Scientific Computing operates with a community stakeholder model and is administered by the School of Science. Schools, departments, and other units join and contribute resources to get a fair-share of the output. There are two different components to join:
- HPC: Science-IT. Get a share of computing resources via the Triton computing cluster.
- Aalto Research Software Engineers (RSE): Support of the RSE program provides intensive hands-on support and service for research software development.
Aalto Scientific Computing gets university-level support already, so our computing resources are usable by anyone doing research at Aalto (with a limited share). By joining further, a unit gets something even more valuable: time. Our support for using our infrastructure is concentrated for member departments which provide joint staff with us or support the RSE program, in addition to a greater share of resources.
Triton: computing and data storage resources¶
Triton is the Aalto computing cluster, for computationally and data-intensive research. Users from members of the community are allocated resources using a fair-share algorithm that guarantees a level of resources at least proportional to the stake, without the need for individual users to engage in separate application processes and billing.
Each participating department/unit funds a fraction of costs and is given an agreed share of resources. These discussions are carried out with the board of the Science-IT project. Based on this agreed share, units cover the running expenses of the project. There is also direct Aalto funding, which allows the entire Aalto community to access a share of Triton for free.
However, computing is not just hardware: support and training is just as critical. To provide support, each unit that is a full member of Science-IT is required to nominate a local support contact as their first contact point. Our staff tries to provide scientific computing support to units without a support contact on a best-effort basis (currently, that effort is good), but we must assume a basic level of knowledge and attendance at our training courses.
Interested parties may open discussion with Science-IT at any time. Using our standing procurement contracts, parties may order hardware to be integrated into our cluster with dedicated or priority access (or standalone usage), allowing you to take advantage of our extensive software stack and management expertise, with varying levels of dedicated access: a share of total compute time, partitions with priority access, private interactive nodes, and so on. Please contact us for details.
Scientific software: research software engineers¶
The Research Software Engineer program provides specialists in software and data, who can be contracted out to projects to provide close support. The goal is not just to perform a service, but to teach by hands-on mentoring.
For projects, the principle is that the project pays for help lasting more than a few hours or days. This can seamlessly come from project money as a researcher salary.
Units (departments, schools) can also join to get a basic service - their members can receive short-term support without any billing needed. Their members will also receive priority for the project services.
For more information, see the RSE for units page.