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1.1 User Support Policy

CHPC's mission is to provide large-scale computer systems, networking, and the expertise to optimize the use of these high-end technologies. CHPC facilitates advances in academic disciplines whose computational requirements exceed the resources available in individual research groups, departments and colleges. In addition to providing these HPC resources, CHPC also provides similar support at the desktop level to select research groups.

CHPC  uses the campus Service Now system, accessible via email to, to which users may submit any questions, problem reports, and/or requests for assistance.  CHPC personnel strive to acknowledge the receipt of messages submitted to the issue tracking system within three hours (during normal working hours). Normal CHPC business hours are Monday-Friday 9AM-6PM, except on University holidays and closed days. Please see our service now information page.

Definitions used throughout this Policy Manual:

shared/general resource A node, VM, or storage that can be used by all CHPC users.

restricted resource A node, VM or storage that can be used by only those approved by the owner of the resource, most typically members of a single department or research group.

protected resource A node, VM, or storage that is accessible in accordance to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), IRB (Institutional Review Board), or other privacy/security guidelines.

compute node The compute nodes are the nodes of the clusters that are generally accessed only via submission of jobs to the batch system. These nodes have no public IP address.

interactive node The login nodes which are used to interact with the compute nodes. The interactive nodes have both a public facing and private IP. Each cluster has at least one general/shared interactive node. Some clusters have additional restricted interactive nodes. Interactive nodes are not accessible via the batch system.

home directory File storage for a user's personal files. Unless the user belongs to a group or department that has purchased the storage space, home directories on are NOT backed up. Home directory space that is backed up is done so to tape on a nightly incremental and either weekly or b-weekly full basis with a two week retention window.

group directory File storage that is controlled by individual research groups or departments, usually to store files that need to be accessed by multiple members of that group or department. Backup policy is set by owner, and handled in a case by case basis. In general, CHPC offers quarterly archive back ups to tape with the PI purchasing the necessary tapes, but this is dependent on the amount of group space owned by the group.  

scratch file system Temporary file storage. These spaces are NOT backed up and should not be used to store any data that is important for long periods of time. Used for staging input for jobs and for the temporary files created during job runs. Important results should be copied to a more permanent space such as your home department file system. On a weekly basis, scratch spaces are scrubbed of files older than 60 days.


Below is an overview of CHPC support:

Hardware: CHPC computer systems include general resources, accessible by all CHPC users, as well as restricted access systems accessible only by an individual research group.  In addition, we have hardware that is for work requiring a protected environment where access is tightly controlled via HIPAA and/or IRB regulations. This hardware includes HPC systems, fileservers, desktop computers and virtual machines. 

Networking: CHPC maintains the networking necessary for the use of the above mentioned computer systems, networking in the INSCC building, an extension of our networks to both the FASB and WBB buildings, and provides limited operational network support to our users in Thatcher, Arapeen 615 and BMI.

Data Center: CHPC monitors and coordinates the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the data centers/machine rooms that house CHPC managed resources. 

Software: CHPC installs and maintains the OS on all the above mentioned computer systems. In addition, CHPC maintains the tools needed by our users, including compilers, libraries, and application software. 

Education: Twice every year (during Fall and Spring semesters) CHPC gives a series of presentations on various aspects of CHPC usage. We also have a set of 'Introduction to Linux" lectures that we give periodically, based on demand.  Additionally, CHPC periodically offers other presentations, including web based classes. CHPC's presentations may be provided to small groups upon request.

Services: CHPC provides services such as web hosting and software version control (SVN, GIT). 

Consultation:  CHPC staff is available for consultation on the use of our systems, as well as for consultation on hardware and software purchases and on the application of existing CHPC resources for individual research group projects.

Building Support: CHPC oversees the INSCC building, including providing residents with access to the building and coordinating usage of the Auditorium and conference rooms.

Last Updated: 6/11/21