High Performance Computing

With the advent of greater support for High Performance Computing (HPC) scholarship and teaching at GVSU, the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence and Information Technology are collaborating to provide a transparent and efficient processes to support HPC work at the university.  A HPC implementation group was formed to process and help implement HPC projects.

What qualifies for HPC resources?

The HPC implementation group at GVSU tries to provide resources that bridge the gap between computing resources readily available from the Information Technology department and big compute cluster environments like Amazon cloud services.  Our goal is to fit that space between “I need more” but “not that much more”.  We can help where:

  • You need more memory for an application than you have on your desktop/laptop.
  • You have an application that takes a long time to run, and you need to free your computer to do other things.
  • You have data that needs to be shared with other users and it needs to be secured (encrypted).
  • You have instructional needs that IT cannot support.  This might include memory, 64bit only software, storage, etc.
  • You want to test software on a system before sending it to a large compute cluster.
  • You need a Linux system to support your software.
  • You need to have a system that is made available to the public to serve a unique program.

What does not qualify for HPC resources?

  • You need many computers working on a single task.  For this you need to rent time on a compute cluster.
  • You have something that IT can or does provide already.
  • You require a huge amount of data storage.
  • You have critical uptime requirements.

HPC Resources

We believe that this GVSU approach fits well with the majority of computing needs that are currently not being met.  What follows is a list of the resources available, and the procedures and contact information needed to start utilizing what we can provide.

Operating System: We can provide both Microsoft Windows (Server 2012R2) and Linux (CentOS) computing environments.

Computing Power: There are eight computer systems that can be utilized.  Two of the systems have dual CPUs with 16 compute cores each.  Six of the systems have dual CPUs with 24 computer cores each.  This gives a total of 352 compute Cores

Memory: Seven of the computer systems have 512GB of RAM, one system has 192GB of RAM

Storage: There is a total of 62TB of all solid state drive storage.  40TB of that storage is mirrored to protect the data in case of failure. The storage is connected to the systems with 12 SATA channels, giving a total throughput of 7,200 MB/s

Networking: Connecting all the computer systems together is two 10Gb/s networks

Request HPC Resources

Please contact Matthew Hodgman (hodgmanm@gvsu.edu; 616-331-2441).  Matthew will work with you to see if your project qualifies for the HPC resources that are available.  If your request qualifies based on available resources, the request will then be forwarded to the  HPC implementation group for approval. Upon approval, a Memo of Understanding (MOU) will be created to assure all parties understand the expectations. You are encouraged to look at the template for the Memo of Understanding so that you are familiar with what information is needed.


Software Currently Being Supported

Currently most software that IT supports can be supported by the HPC system.  In addition the following HPC software has been tested and in use by the GVSU community.

HPC Potential Funding Support

Financial and personnel support for HPC activities is shared by your grant, units, deans’ offices, IT and the Provost Office as appropriate.

  • Your Grant – Funding from a grant can be used to utilize, support and augment the HPC system GVSU at it grows.  Each addition to the systems allows you greater :access than the single addition can provide.  Please be aware that use of the GVSU HPC system is not automatic and that inclusion in a grant proposal needs to be reviewed.
  • Dean’s and Unit Support - The Dean's Offices and Unit / Departments might provide support for HPC needs in the following manner
    • Approval of project
    • Potential funding for grants that are not approved Potential funding for non-grant items
  • Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence
    • Authorize access to centralized resources (includes staff time and data storage/access)
    • Potential assistance in minimal funding needs not covered by a grant
  • Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC)
    • Potential grant funding
  • IT Support
    • Provide access to currently funded software
    • Review data security requirements and provide guidance/input