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Research Computing

Status: Full production
Contact: idi-info@ucsd.edu

What Is It?

IDI subsidizes the Triton Shared Computing Cluster (TSCC), a high-performance cluster for research computing. Designed as a turnkey computing resource, it features flexible usage and business models and professional system administration. Unlike traditional clusters, TSCC is a collaborative system wherein the majority of nodes are purchased and shared by the cluster users, known as condo owners. In addition to the participant-contributed condo nodes, TSCC has a collection of hotel nodes which are available to condo owners and to other researchers on a rental basis. The condo and hotel configurations contain both standard two-socket nodes and GPU nodes. The hotel configuration also features eight 512GB large-memory nodes.

photo of open nodeIn the condo model, participants purchase one or more computing nodes for the shared cluster and receive an equivalent annual time allocation  to run jobs on any combination of the participant's own nodes, nodes contributed by other participants, and hotel nodes. Researchers will also have the hotel option of purchasing time by the hour.

You can read more about hardware, network capabilities, storage, and usage plans in the System Info section.

How Much Does It Cost?

The primary cost to condo participants is the cost of the computing nodes. In addition, owners pay an operations fee on each node to cover user services, support, maintenance and upgrades. These costs are detailed in the chart below.

The cost to UCSD users for running jobs on the hotel nodes is $0.025 per core-hour, with a minimum purchase of $250. Non-UCSD users have a slightly higher but still very competitive rate. See the table below for a cost comparison of computing rates.

Cost per SU based on Organization and Participation Status
Organization/Node Type Hotel & PDAF Condo
UCSD Users $0.025/SU $0.015/SU
Other UC Campuses $0.03/SU Please inquire*
Public $0.09/SU Please inquire*

Non-UCSD organizations should email idi-info@ucsd.edu for details and specifics regarding cost and availability of TSCC computing resources. We strongly encourage external group participation through competitive rates and high quality service and support.

The cost of new TSCC nodes is currently being negotiated with our vendor, so we are unable to accurately quote per-node costs at this time. We will update this page when our new pricing structure has been determined.

What will not change are the fixed costs for operation and maintenance per node. Those will remain at $939 for the one-time Infrastructure Fee and $495/yr for the Annual Ops Fee.

UCSD Condo Node Costs
Item Node Purchase Infrastructure Fee Annual Ops Fee
General Computing Node $3,934 $939 $495/yr
  128 GB Memory + $575 + $0 -
  InfiniBand + $0 + $200 -
GPU Node (GTX 680 w/32 GB Memory) $6310 $939


  64 GB Memory + $250 + $0 -
  128 GB Memory + $750 + $0 -
  Infiniband + $495 + $200 -
  GTX Titan Upgrade + $1960 + $0 -

Based on initial year pricing, the effective cost for UCSD-based condo participants was less than $0.015/core-hour over the four-year lifecycle of a fully-utilized General Computing Node..

Read more about the  TSCC cost for users.

Read more about the  TSCC Usage Model.

How Do I Get It?

photo of Jim Hayes and one of his IDI's TSCC is now fully deployed and in production, and new user requests are being fulfilled at this time. Condo hardware orders will be fulfilled within approximately 30 days. Email the Participant Contact for inquiries (info above). Discussion and announcements can be found on the TSCC mailing list.

Get a Trial Account on TSCC!

Download the TSCC Quick Reference Guide [PDF].

Other UCSD Non-IDI Services

An open campus meeting about the RCI program and Research Computing was held on January 24, 2013 at the Price Center Marshall Room. You can view the presentation slides  [PDF] for an overview.

*Contact rci-info@ucsd.edu about pricing for non-UCSD organizations.

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Participant Meeting

View presentation slides
from Wed. May 21, 2014

TSCC Planned Maintenance March 9-10, 2014

The TSCC received a switch hardware upgrade and a Lustre upgrade on Sunday, March 9 and Monday, March 10. Read the details...

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