Updated 2019-06-14

General Questions

What is PACE?

  • PACE (Partnership for an Advanced Computing Environment) is a collaboration between Georgia Tech faculty and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) focused on HPC. This partnership is made possible as part of a long-term commitment by Georgia Tech to create an exemplary environment to advance Georgia Tech's leadership position in innovative research.
  • PACE provides a core suite of HPC services and resources available at no direct cost to faculty participants. These resources are listed in the What is included in the PACE federation of clusters? section.
  • PACE also provides faculty the opportunity to leverage their investments in exclusively dedicated nodes by employing a federated model where dedicated nodes purchased by faculty are integrated into the PACE set of core services. Thus, participating faculty avoid the costs associated with these core services.
  • Find out how to get started at PACE at our Participation Page

What is included in the PACE federation of clusters?

  • The PACE federation of clusters includes all HPC clusters that are integrated into PACE's suite of core services and resources. These include:
    • FoRCE, a shared pool of community nodes immediately available for access
    • Several clusters of nodes that share job assignments with the FoRCE.
    • Several clusters of nodes dedicated to the exclusive use of the faculty who purchase the nodes.
  • PACE's suite of core services and resources provided to the federation of clusters include:
    • Baseline pool of FoRCE nodes
    • Infrastructure - data center space, power, cooling, racks, and all aspects of 24x7 data center operations
    • Commodity Services - ethernet, high-speed scratch storage, back-ups, recovery, security
    • Software - compliers, applications, license management
    • Technical Services & Support - user support, hardware management, consulting, procurement
  • See Participation and Resources for more information.

What are the different ways to participate and the associated services?

  • Services range from a shared community cluster, known as FoRCE, to clusters dedicated to individual researchers. Common infrastructure and system administration are provided by PACE. Faculty contribution depends on which participation option best fits individual faculty needs. Please see Participation for more details.

When are PACE clusters maintained and upgraded?

  • Major maintenance of the PACE federation of clusters occurs quarterly. The maintenance schedule is approved by the Faculty Governance Committee and subject to change.
  • Generally, significant hardware acquisitions occur annually after the Supercomputing Conference (SC) in November. Waiting until after the SC conference provides insights into emerging technologies and peer trends which helps guide technical specifications for the upcoming procurement.
  • If a faculty member has funding that needs to be spent on a different timetable, we will work with them to help them take advantage of any currently negotiated contracts and discounts.
  • Please see Policies for detailed information regarding maintenance procurement schedules.

How much does it cost and who pays for what?

  • Costs vary based upon mainstream and experimental technology trends, procurement cycle, size of order, and economic conditions. Researcher contribution, either through start-up package funding or sponsored awards, depends on the chosen level of participation.
    • In general, participants will cover the cost of compute nodes, bulk "project directory" storage and networking beyond commodity gigabit ethernet.
    • Researchers who opt to purchase nodes for shared use in the FoRCE Cluster will have priority use of those nodes plus shared access to the entire FoRCE Cluster.
    • Researchers who opt to pay nothing can be granted shared access to the FoRCE Cluster for a fixed number of CPU hours, as allocated by the Faculty Governance Committee.
    • Other expenses are considered infrastructure-related, and are covered by the Institute.
  • Please see Participation for more details.

What are the CSR's role in PACE?

  • PACE is a consolidated family of resources whose sole purpose is the support of computationally intensive research on behalf of Georgia Tech. Departmental IT Directors and Computer Support Representatives (CSR's) are responsible for supporting a wide spectrum of IT services for their respective areas. CSR's are encouraged to add PACE perspective while advising their Faculty on a solution that best meets individual needs. PACE team is always ready to support CSR's with their questions related to PACE resources and HPC in general.

How do I get technical support?

  • If you are experiencing issues while on the cluster, please run the following command:

I've got pending research that requires new HPC resources quickly. What do I do?

  • The need for stand-alone deadline driven purchases compatible with the Inchworm infrastructure should be communicated to the PACE team as quickly as possible.
  • Please contact pace-support@oit.gatech.edu