Different problems require differing degrees of computational resources to solve. In order to effectively meet the needs of demanding computational problems SHARCNET participates in a national resource allocation competition on behalf of Compute Canada, as well as operating a continuous competition for short-duration resource allocations throughout the year.
These competitions allow researchers (and their groups) to obtain high-priority job queues on SHARCNET systems so that their jobs start more quickly than regular jobs. It also provides access to storage resources beyond the default limitations (both duration and size).
Compute Canada NRAC (National Resource Allocation Competition)
The Compute Canada NRAC allocation process accepts applications for substantial dedicated resource allocations every September, as well as other specialized allocation rounds throughout the year.
If you have a Compute Canada account please log in to the Compute Canada website and visit your resource applications page for further details.
SHARCNET Continuous Small Dedicated Resources
The SHARCNET Continuous Small Dedicated Resources process accepts applications for substantial resource allocations throughout the year. The process is initiated by contacting a SHARCNET staff member to discuss the computational problem at hand and the suitability of it for the program.
For more information, please refer to the dedicated resources application guidelines for the current (2012) round.
Handling of allocations at SHARCNET
NRAC and CSDR allocations are handled at SHARCNET on a per-group basis. The group's PI has to let SHARCNET know which of their group members they would like to have access to the allocation. They are then placed in an extended unix group (gid) which is particular to the project.
In addition to this new unix group, special queues corresponding to the project are set up on the relevant systems which grant members the ability to submit high-priority jobs to the system which will start before regular jobs. The size of the queue (both number of jobs and number of concurrent cpu cores) is specified at the outset of the project based on it's needs.
If a group applied for a storage allocation they will typically be given a new directory for the project on the required filesystem, with any storage quotas and expiry timescales set at the outset of the project based on it's needs.
Groups can see the projects associated with their NRAC or CSDR allocations in the web portal here. All communication with SHARCNET concerning your allocation should be conducted through this interface when possible. It also includes information on how well one is progressing towards the completion of their allocation and other supporting information.