UK National HPC Service

Computer Services for Academic Research Logo
Home | Helpdesk | Machine Status | Search | Apply

General Information

Primary CSAR Resources

The primary CSAR systems are:

  • Newton - SGI Altix 3700 system with 512 Itanium 2 processors and 1Terabyte total memory. The machine is configured to run mainly as a batch engine with a small interactive element.
  • Green - SGI Origin 3000 system with 512 MIPS R12000 processors and 512 GBytes total memory. The machine is configured to run as a batch engine.
  • Fermat - SGI Origin2000 system with 128 MIPS R12000 processors, 128 Gbytes of memory and 2 Tbytes of medium performance disk. This machine is primarily intended for small to medium scale production work. The Origin2000 is configured to run as a batch engine.
  • Wren - SGI Origin 300 with 16 MIPS R14000 processors and 16GBytes of memory is the interactive system for the CSAR service.
  • SAN - the storage area network from SGI which provides disk resources to all of the machines.
  • Storage Powderhorn Tape Management Library - with a capacity up to 150 Tbytes.

For further details please read our Resources pages.

Generic Service Tokens

The Research Councils make allocations in Generic Service Tokens. Research Groups then exchange Generic Service Tokens into Resource Tokens for CPU, disk, mass storage, training and applications/optimisation support. Groups are required to provide and keep up-to-date a capacity plan of their expected use of their resources for each six-month period of their award, but they will, subject to availability, be able to trade tokens within the trading pool as their requirements change.

The CSAR Contract

The contract between EPSRC and CfS includes measures to ensure a high quality of service. For example, important indicators such as the job throughput, service availability and response times to answer queries are all included in a service credit scheme which will reward the consortium for excellent performance and compensate the Research Councils if performance levels fall. User feedback on the performance of the service is facilitated in a number of ways, including Service Quality Tokens and User Liaison Forums.

The CSAR Helpdesk

The CSAR Helpdesk is staffed from 08:30 until 18:00, Monday to Friday. You can contact the helpdesk with your problems, requests or feedback in a variety of ways which are outlined in our Contact Us page.

The Action Request System is used to log calls and to ensure that they are dealt with promptly. Problem escalation is automatically built into the system to ensure that queries are responded to in a timely manner. Once a problems is logged, a request id is automatically generated which uniquely identifies the problem. The user is notified of the request id which will reference the query thereafter.

Each problem is given an escalation time in which it has to be resolved, this is dependent upon its priority level (allocated according to the type of problem). The system records the time spent on each problem and details the actions taken to solve the problem. Should further technical expertise be required, the problem is referred to the appropriate specialist within the CSAR service. The problem is closed once the user has confirmed that the issue is resolved.

Page maintained by This page last updated: Wednesday, 08-Sep-2004 10:56:08 BST