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VSC computing time

VSC offers the Tier-1 platform Supercomputing as a Service (SaaS) consisting of three infrastructure components (compute, data and cloud) that together make it possible to provide a higher level of service to VSC users.

Researchers at universities, Flemish SOCs and Flemish public knowledge institutions can apply for Tier-1 computing time for research purposes through a project application. Applicants do not have to pay a contribution towards the cost of computer time and storage.

Tier-1 compute

An application concerns a project with at least the equivalent of 500 kcore-hours or 1 kGPU-hour and not more than the equivalent of 7.5 Mcore-hours and/or 40 kGPU-hours for a period of eight months. The proposal should include a realistic estimate of the computing time needed in the project. These estimations have to be substantiated by Tier-1 benchmarks. To be able to perform these tests for new codes, a starting grant can be requested through a short and quick procedure.

Proposals can be submitted continuously, but they will be gathered and evaluated and resources allocated at a number of cut-off dates. There are 3 cut-off dates in 2024:

  • February 5, 2024
  • June 3, 2024
  • October 7, 2024

The evaluation committee is responsible for assessing applications. Review the definitions of standard terms such as CPU, core, node-hour, memory and storage and use them consistently in the project application. If assistance is required in completing the application, contact your local VSC support team.

Tier-1 Compute starting grant

To prepare for a future regular Tier-1 compute project application, the software can be tested to see if it runs well on Tier-1 and to do the scalability tests required for a project application. A starting grant can be applied for free for up to 500k core hours and 1000 GPU hours for up to 8 months. Applications can be made at any time to compute@vscentrum.be and your local VSC coordinator. The application will be assessed for validity by the Tier-1 coordinator. There are no set deadlines.

Tier-1 Compute-collaborative grant

Consortia of research groups have the opportunity to apply jointly for a Collaborative Grant. This grant aims to encourage collaboration between research groups in different research institutions. A Collaborative Grant can only be applied for by a consortium of at least three research groups from different public research institutions with a clearly defined common research theme. A Collaborative Grant is awarded for a maximum capacity of 10 M core hours and/or 75 k GPU hours and the maximum period for using the allocated computing time is 12 months. Applications for a Collaborative Grant can be submitted on a rolling basis.  A test application collaborative grant can also be applied for. 

Tier-1 Data

More and more VSC users have computational tasks that make intensive use of large datasets. The VSC Data component enables research data to stay close to the computing infrastructure during the active phase of the data life cycle. At the same time, it allows researchers to add rich metadata for searching and contextualization, automate workflows like data collection and quality control, and share data with colleagues.

The VSC Data component is based on the open source software iRODS. Together with the data transfer tool Globus, this service makes migrating large datasets to and from HPC infrastructure easier than ever.

The proposal for Tier-1 data should include a realistic estimate of the resources needed in the project with minimum 5 TiB and maximum 1 PiB with a minimum duration of eight months and maximum of four years. If you need help filling out the application, please contact data@vscentrum.be

Tier-1 Data starting grant

VSC offers the opportunity of a free trial of the Tier-1 Data resources via a Tier-1 Data Starting grant. Applications can be made at any time to data@vscentrum.be and your local VSC coordinator. The application will be assessed for validity by the Tier-1 coordinator. There are no set deadlines. 

Tier-1 cloud

Regularly users express the need for a more flexible environment with tailor-made software packages, interactive data analysis tools, workflow portals, data visualization, or specific pre-and post-processing packages. The VSC Cloud component meets these requests by enabling ‘on-demand’ resources in a more flexible and cloud-like manner. Based on OpenStack, VSC Cloud offers Infrastructure as a Service capability for power users that can deploy resources such as virtual machines and storage systems, and adapt these to their scientific use case. The VSC Cloud component also offers a number of high-level services through a ready-to-use catalog of templates that makes it easy to set up databases or web servers.

The proposal for Tier-1 cloud should include a realistic estimate of the resources needed in the project with at least one virtual machine, with a minimum term of eight months and maximum of two years. Proposals can be submitted continuously and the evaluation commission is responsible for the review of the applications, which have to be of outstanding quality. If you need help filling out the application, please contact cloud@vscentrum.be

Tier-1 Cloud starting grant

VSC offers the opportunity of a free trial of the Tier-1 Cloud resources via a Tier-1 Cloud Starting grant. Applications can be made at any time to cloud@vscentrum.be and your local VSC coordinator. The application will be assessed for validity by the Tier-1 coordinator. There are no set deadlines.