HPC Server Hosting

Service Description

Some units within Newcastle University have a requirement for HPC (High Performance Computing). Sometimes this requirement can be met by using national HPC services but sometimes it is most appropriate to host the hardware on-site.

The service allows these machines to be located in a secure, climate controlled environment without the individual unit needing to install and maintain the supporting equipment.

This service is solely provision of power, cooling and access control. 

Features

  • Secure location for IT equipment with controlled and monitored access
  • Stable environmental conditions

Users

University Research Groups with support of their computing officer.

Service Hours

The data centre operates continuously though operational issues will require occasional outages (for major power or cooling work). Any such disruptive works will normally be advertised at least two weeks ahead and scheduled to minimise disruption.

Physical access to servers is only possible on working days between 09:00 and 16:30.

Level of Service

Data centre temperature is monitored continuously and staff alerted when it falls outside acceptable range.

Data centre power supply is monitored and staff alerted on failure.

Equipment hosted by this service is not connected to the data centre’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If some of the equipment requires protection from power loss the server owner will need to provide and maintain a dedicated UPS unit.

Support and Documentation

Enquiries about the service should be sent to the IT Service Desk (5999 or it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk).

Request Process

Initial consultation
  1. Enquiries about using the service should be sent to the IT Service Desk (5999 or it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk).
  2. You will be contacted within three working days to discuss your requirements.
  3. The requirements will be assessed along with the current data centre capacity (power, space, cooling) and you will be informed if your equipment can be accommodated within 10 working days.
Initial Installation
  1. Initial installation requests can only be made after successful completion of an initial consultation.
  2. Requests for access for initial installation should be sent to the IT Service Desk (5999 or it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk) with a set of preferred dates for installation.
  3. You will be contacted within three working days to confirm dates and requirements.
  4. As part of this process, a server owner (or owners) will be agreed. This person will be the primary contact with ISS about the service and will be the only person authorised to change the access list.
Physical access

There are two options for physical access to equipment.

a. Accompanied access:

  1. Requests for access should be sent to the IT Service Desk (5999 or it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk) with a set of preferred dates and times for access.
  2. You will be contacted within one working day to confirm arrangements.
  3. Requests which do not come from someone on the access list will be refused.

a. Unaccompanied access:

  1. Staff with smartcard access to the data centre can visit the data centre without being accompanied by ISS staff.
  2. This access is only possible on working days between 09:00 and 16:30.
Removal of equipment

As for physical acces.

Changing access list
  1. Requests to change the access list should be sent to the IT Service Desk (5999 or it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk) by the server owner.
  2. If the change is an addition then the people to be added will be contacted within three working days to arrange a basic induction session before they are added to the list.
  3. If unaccompanied access is required a more detailed induction session will be required. Once that is complete the member of staff will be added to the smartcard access list for the data centre.
  4. If the change is a removal then the request will be made within one working day.

User Responsibility

System administration (including backups, operating system installation, configuration, maintenance and replacement of failed components) remains the responsibility of the owning group.

Staff with access to the data centre must follow the guidelines given in the induction session.

Costs

The electricity bill for the University is currently paid centrally so ISS do not charge for this service.