CPU Usage Policy

As a centrally funded resource, we only have a finite amount of centrally-funded CPU hours available, and it is critically important that these be allocated fairly across the school. To this end, all MSPH-HPC users are expected to make their code as efficient as possible so that CPU usage reflects the minimum amount necessary for the given job; this ensures that there are CPU hours available for use by other researchers.

Please be advised that there are several guidelines in place to help us fairly manage CPU usage:

  1. Each user of the HPC can use up to 100K CPU hours per month at no charge.

  2. In the event that an active job exceeds the user’s 100K free quota the owner of the project (faculty/ PI) will be billed for the overage.

  3. We will do our best to alert users via e-mail when they are approaching the 100K free quota, but we encourage users to track their own usage to prevent surprises.

  4. Usage over 100K in a month will be billed to the user at the following rate. (Computing Price)

  5. Invoices are sent on a quarterly basis direct from MSPH IT. (To reduce admin overhead, MSPH IT pays Systems Biology and then passes the cost along to departments/centers via these quarterly invoices.) 
    Please note: Grant funds can only be used to pay ~75% of the HPC usage charges. The remaining ~25% must be covered by non-government indirect funds. This is due to a stipulation in the grant that funds the Systems Biology HPC cluster.

In the event that a user has a job that requires more than 100K CPU hours, we encourage the user to make purchase arrangements in advance, so the job is not accidentally terminated.  Please reach out to HPC Liaison, Rebecca Yohannes at ry111@cumc.columbia.edu about this. You must provide an Arc String to take advantage of this service.