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Resource Tokens and Trading Pool

Overview

Applications for CSAR resources are made in terms of specific resource types, which are then converted into an equivalent number of Generic Service Tokens (with a notional cost).

The individual resources are as below. The on-line resource calculator can be used to view the exchange rates between the different resources, and of course to help complete the table in the application form.

The trading pool facility can be used to exchange resources if the needs of the project change during it's lifetime.

Machine Specific Resource

SGI Altix 3700 (Newton)

CPU: This resource gives access to CPU time on the Altix 3700 (newton), measured in hours.

SGI Origin 3800 (Green)

CPU: This resource gives access to CPU time on the Origin3000 (green), measured in hours.

SGI Origin 2000 (Fermat)

SMP CPU: This resource gives access to CPU time on the Origin2000 (fermat), measured in hours.

SGI Origin 300 (Wren)

CPU: This resource gives access to CPU time on the Origin300 (wren), measured in hours.

Storage Area Network (SAN) Disks

  • SAN UHP Disk: This resource gives access to Ultra High Performance disk-based filestore on the SAN. It is intended for work with very intensive I/O requirements. This disk type is not backed up. Disk resources are measured in GbyteYears -- N.B. See Notes below.
  • SAN HP Disk: This resource gives access to High Performance disk-based filestore on the SAN. It is intended for work with fairly high I/O requirements and handling large files. Disk resources are measured in GbyteYears -- N.B. See Notes below.
  • SAN MP Disk: This resource gives access to Medium Performance disk-based filestore on the SAN. It is intended for normal disk usage and is expected to be the default disk type. Your home directory will be on MP disk. Disk resources are measured in GbyteYears -- N.B. See Notes below.
  • SAN HV Disk: This resource gives access to High Volume disk-based filestore on the SAN. It is intended for cheaper storage for large quantities of data. This disk type is not backed up. Disk resources are measured in GbyteYears -- N.B. See Notes below.

Please contact the CSAR service if you would like further advice in selecting the most appropriate disk type for your work.

For more information regarding disks please see our filestore webpages.

Other Resources

  • HSM/Tape: This resource gives access to the HSM tape-based file store attached to the SAN. Without a quantity of these tokens you will not be able to store any data within the hold areas or the tape library. Tape resources are measured in GbyteYears -- N.B. See Notes below. For further details regarding tape, please see the hold webpage.
  • Optimisation/Application Support:This resource gives access to in-depth optimisation and application support for any of the systems. Note that this does not include minor support items (e.g. day-to-day queries) which are free of charge. Support time is measured in PersonDays. Please see http://www.csar.cfs.ac.uk/services/support/ for further details.
  • Training: This resource gives access to CSAR training services, measured in Days. Our courses webpage gives details of training currently available.

Charging of Disk and Tape Resources

Disk resources are applied for in terms of Gbytes of disk space required (not GbyteYears). Once your project starts and you start consuming this resource, disk resources are in general measured in GbyteYears (e.g. in the Trading Pool). On the application form you should request the estimated average disk quota requirement in Gbytes during each six month period. The total column in the application form table (and the on-line calculator) will therefore contain the number of half GbyteYears in total. The on-line calculator takes this into account when calculating the resulting number of generic service tokens.

Disk resources are decremented according to quota * time, not usage. Quota levels are sampled daily. Project PIs are required to manage their projectís disk quota to control the rate of usage of their disk resources.

The HSM/Tape resource uses the same units as disk resources, but there are no quotas for HSM/tape use, and the resource is decremented according to usage * time.

The Trading Pool

The initial trade from Generic Service Tokens to actual resources in the Trading Pool is carried out by the helpdesk according to the resources you requested in your application (assuming your award was granted in full).

Subsequently over a period of time your HPC resource demands may change, and the trading pool allows corresponding change to the resources allocated, subject to the availability of resources. Re-trades are generally permitted every three months.

Usage of resources is always dependent on whether users have enough unused Resource Tokens of the right types. Actual charges to the Research Councils are based on actual resources used, not on the value of Resource Tokens held at any time.

The Trading Pool is accessible by authorised individuals (primarily the CSAR PI) via the individual project records in the registration database.

The policy and rules for exchanges through the service trading pool are set by the Research Councils with the agreement of CfS. Resources which are in great demand, where there are few spare Resource Tokens for such resource, shall be subject to CfS Management Board review to determine whether the CSAR service should change; either through changing processes, capacities or capabilities. It may for example be necessary to plan extra training course or to make additional disk capacity available to users.

Each project has a Capacity Plan detailing their anticipated usage of all resources for each 6 month period of their grant. This information is used by CfS to plan overall capacity requirements. Individual plans are initially populated with the requested resources, but it is the responsibility of projects to keep their Capacity Plans up to date in the light of actual usage and re-trades. Plans are stored in the registration database and are closely linked to the Trading Pool.

Page maintained by This page last updated: Monday, 23-Aug-2004 15:22:55 BST