New to the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility?

Welcome! The information below introduces how we structure user accounts, projects, and system allocations. It’s all you need to know about getting to work. In general, OLCF resources are granted to projects in allocations, and are made available to the users associated with each project.

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Request a New Allocation

Access to OLCF resources is limited to approved projects and their users. The type of project (INCITE, ALCC, or Director’s Discretion) will determine the application and review procedures. *Quarterly reports are required from industrial Director’s Discretion projects only.

  INCITE Director’s Discretion ALCC
Allocations Large Small Large
Call for Proposals Once per year At any time Once per year
Duration 1 year Up to 12 months 1 year
Priority High Medium High
Closeout Report yes yes yes
Quarterly Reports yes no* yes
Where to apply Apply for INCITE Apply for DD Apply for ALCC

What are the differences between project types?

INCITE – The Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program invites proposals for large-scale, computationally intensive research projects to run at the OLCF. The INCITE program awards sizeable allocations (typically, millions of processor-hours per project) on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to address grand challenges in science and engineering. There is an annual call for INCITE proposals and awards are made on an annual basis. Please visit the Department of Energy Leadership Computing website for more information and to submit a proposal.

ALCC – The ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) is open to scientists from the research community in national laboratories, academia and industry. The ALCC program allocates computational resources at the OLCF for special situations of interest to the Department with an emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff simulations in areas directly related to the Department’s energy mission in areas such as advancing the clean energy agenda and understanding the Earth’s climate, for national emergencies, or for broadening the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources. For more information or to submit a proposal, please visit the ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge webpage.

DD – Director’s Discretion (DD) projects are dedicated to leadership computing preparation, INCITE and ALCC scaling, and application performance to maximize scientific application efficiency and productivity on leadership computing platforms. The OLCF Resource Utilization Council, as well as independent referees, review and approve all DD requests. Applications are accepted year round via the OLCF Director’s Discretion Project Application.

Vendor – OLCF resources are also available to ORNL vendors. Applications may be submitted year round by completing the Vendor Project Application.

If you have questions about project types or application procedures, feel free to contact the OLCF Accounts Team at accounts@ccs.ornl.gov.

Approved projects will be granted an allocation of core-hours for a period of time on one or more of the OLCF systems.

What happens after a project request is approved?

Once a project request is approved, an OLCF Accounts Manager will communicate the following steps for activation to the project’s PI.

  1. A signed Principal Investigator’s PI Agreement must be submitted with the project application.
  2. Export Control: The project request will be reviewed by ORNL Export Control to determine whether sensitive or proprietary data will be generated or used. The results of this review will be forwarded to the PI. If the project request is deemed sensitive and/or proprietary, the OLCF Security Team will schedule a conference call with the PI to discuss the data protection needs.
  3. ORNL Personnel Access System (PAS): All PI’s are required to be entered into the ORNL PAS system. An OLCF Accounts Manager will send the PI a PAS invitation to submit all the pertinent information. Please note that processing a PAS request may take 15 or more days.
  4. User Agreement/Appendix A or Subcontract: A User Agreement/Appendix A or Subcontract must be executed between UT-Battelle and the PI’s institution. If our records indicate this requirement has not been met, all necessary documents will be provided to the applicant by an OLCF Accounts Manager.

Upon completion of the above steps, the PI will be notified that the project has been created, and provided with the project ID and system allocation details. At this time, project participants may apply for user accounts.

Guidance on Summit Allocation Requests

Summit delivers 8 times the computational performance of Titan’s 18,688 nodes, using only 4,608 nodes. Like Titan, Summit has a hybrid architecture, and each node contains multiple IBM POWER9 CPUs and NVIDIA Volta GPUs all connected together with NVIDIA’s high-speed NVLink. The peak node performance is 42 teraflops per node with 512 gigabytes of DDR4 memory, 96 gigabytes of HPM2 memory, and 1,600 gigabytes of non-volatile memory. To provide a high rate of I/O throughput, the nodes are connected in a non-blocking fat-tree using a dual-rail Mellanox EDR InfiniBand interconnect. The OLCF Director’s Discretionary (DD) program allocates approximately 10% of the available Summit hours in a calendar year. Summit is allocated in *node* hours, and a typical DD project is awarded between 15,000 - 20,000 *node* hours. For more information about Summit, please visit the Summit User Guide.

Applying for a user account

Collaborators involved with an approved and activated OLCF project can apply for a user account associated with it. There are several steps in receiving a user account, and we’re here to help you through them.

Note

Project PIs do not receive a user account with project creation, and must also submit a User Account Application.

Note

If you will be contributing to multiple projects, your user account will need to be associated with each. If you already have a user account and need to be added to additional projects, complete the User Account Application and indicate you are an existing user.

  1. Apply for an account using the Account Request Form.
  2. The principal investigator (PI) of the project must approve your account and system access. The Accounts Team will contact the PI for this approval.
  3. If you have or will receive a RSA SecurID from our facility, additional paperwork will be sent to you via email to complete for identity proofing.
  4. Foreign national participants will be sent an Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) Personnel Access System (PAS) request specific for the facility and cyber-only access. After receiving your response, it takes between 15-35 days for approval.
  5. Fully-executed User Agreements with each institution having participants are required. If our records indicate your institution needs to sign either a User Agreement and/or Appendix A, the form(s) along with instructions will be sent via email.
  6. If you are processing sensitive or proprietary data, additional paperwork is required and will be sent to you.

When all of the above steps are completed, your user account will be created and you will be notified by email. Now that you have a user account and it has been associated with a project, you’re ready to get to work. This website provides extensive documentation for OLCF systems, and can help you efficiently use your project’s allocation. We recommend reading the Systems for the machines you will be using often.

Get access to additional projects

This process is similar to applying for a new user account. However, if you already have a user account at the OLCF, your exiting credentials can be reused on multiple projects.

To gain access to another project, fill out the Account Request Form, and indicate your username, Once the PI of that project has been contacted and given permission, your username will be added to the relevant charge accounts and unix groups, and you will see these additions when you log in with your OLCF username and PIN+tokencode.