»  General User Policies

General User Policies

This document describes the general user policies for the High-performance Computing facility (HPC) at the American Museum of Natural History. These policies are established to ensure the fair use and sustainability of this shared resource. If you have any questions or remarks about the policies described herein, please contact the Manager of Scientific Computing .

Use of the HPC signifies compliance with and acceptance of general user policies contained on this web site.


HPC users receive regular notices on system status through the HPC "notice" mailing list. Machine specific information is also posted in the "Message of the Day" viewable upon login.

Requests for help in HPC related matters should be sent to support.


HPC accounts are created for single users and users are not allowed to share their accounts or passwords.
Failure to maintain the confidentiality of your password can result in the following actions:

  • The offending user's account will be suspended and the user will be forced to change his/her password. The account will be reinstated after the approval of the HPC administrator.
  • After a second incident, the user account will be suspended and the user will be forced to change his/her password. The account will be reinstated only after the approval of the HPC advisory panel chair.
  • If more than two incidents occur, the HPC advisory panel will determine whether account privileges on HPC will be permanently terminated.

System Abuse

The HPC is a shared system; therefore, your actions can impact the work of other users. The HPC is not comparable to a desktop machine; i.e., practices that are acceptable on your desktop can have serious impacts on the HPC system and affect many other users. The following is list of general guidelines that every HPC user should follow.

  • The MOAB/Torque scheduler and resource manager is used to control the scheduling of batch jobs on the system. A description of user-commands is found here.
  • Do not over-allocate parallel jobs. Make certain that your job uses the number of processors that you have requested or reserved.
  • Do not run highly experimental code that might compromise the usability of the network fabric, any of the compute nodes, or the shared storage system.

The HPC staff may take the following action immediately if an abuse of the system is identified.

  • Offending jobs will be suspended and guidance provided to resolve the misuse issue.
  • The system administrator will conduct a review of a user who misuses the system two or more times after being warned. Offending user accounts may be suspended following the review.


Periodically the clusters is taken off line and shut down in order to perform scheduled maintenance. Users will be notified with sufficient lead time to plan for any interruptions.

User Reservation

Users may request system time for high priority projects. All request for access to a dedicated time slot must meet the following criteria.

  • Person submitting the request must have an HPC account.
  • Justify the request
  • Demonstrate readiness within two weeks of the dedicated run period.
  • Runs must complete within 48 hours
  • Runs must use one half or more of all HPC processor cores.

Policy Disputes

Appeals concerning the general user policy described herein should be made to the HPC Manager.