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SDSC > User Support > Consulting > Consulting: Managing Your Account

Managing Your Account

Allocations of computer resources are awarded to academic users through the peer-review application process conducted by the SDSC Allocation Committee (see SDSC Allocations for more information). Principal investigators (PIs), those in charge of a research project that will use the computing resources, control allocations. Industrial participants receive their allocations through a cost-sharing program.

The SDSC accounting system tracks all system-resource usage, determines priority-weighted usage charges, and archives the accounting information for any given time period. This document is your guide to making practical use of that accounting system. For Principal Investigators, or those persons in charge of SDSC project allocations, it tells how to manage and monitor allocated resources. For all users, it describes how to check usage. It answers frequently asked questions about charges and allocations, and tells you how to use the various accounting utilities that give information about your SDSC account. A glossary of accounting terms is included at the end.

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Allocation Basics

This section describes how allocations are measured, who has control over them, the terms needed to understand how they are organized, when they begin, how much of the allocated resource carries over from one quarter to the next, and what to do when your allocation has been exhausted.

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How Charges are Calculated

SDSC allocations are measured in service units (SUs). At normal priority, 1 SU = 1 CPU-hour. In general,

SUs charged = (wall-clock time)*(number of cpus)*priority

How Service Unit Charges are Calculated

The SDSC charging algorithm calculates your SU charges by multiplying the CPU time by the charge factor of the queue in which you run your job or by the interactive charge factor.

If you have any questions about this, please contact SDSC Consulting.

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Accounting Names and IDs

SDSC assigns each allocated project one or more unique six- or seven-character accounting-group names (e.g., wis245, cla662, sio229a, etc.). The first three characters are alphabetic characters that usually represent the PI's site (for example, "wis" stands for the University of Wisconsin, "cla" for the University of California at Los Angeles, "sio" for Scripp's Institution of Oceanography, etc.); the second three characters are project-identification numbers; and the seventh is an optional character to identify subprojects. For example, the accounting-group name "sio229a" identifies the site (sio), the project (229), and the subproject (a).

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Login Names and User IDs

Each accounting group has any number of individual login names explicitly validated to allow people to login to the machines and access their project's allocation. Sometimes these login names are also called user names or user numbers. Login names are based on the e-mail, last name, or first initial, last name provided on the account request (limited to eight characters and dependent upon the user name being unique at SDSC). Each login name also has an associated identification called a user ID (UID).

SDSC assigns a login name and UID for each person that a PI indicates on his or her User Authorization Form (Form D-np).

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When an Allocation Begins

For academic users: MRAC allocations begin January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1, and LRAC allocations begin April 1 and October 1. Expedited allocations can begin at any time. Allocations are for a 12-month period. These allocation levels are described in the SDSC Allocations section.

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When an Allocation Ends

If your accounting-group allocation has been exhausted, the PI must make another allocation request to the Allocation Committee. This process is described in the SDSC Allocations section.

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How Accounts are Charged

You select the scheduling priority for your jobs when you submit them to a batch queue. The queue priority you choose determines how quickly your job will run and the charges deducted from your allocation. The charges will be deducted from the first allocations with active SU's in the groups list, unless otherwise specified in your submission script. The charges are proportional to the priority of the selected queue. For example, if you use a high-priority queue, you can get rapid turnaround, but it is more costly in SUs. See the SDSC User Guides for more queue information. It is important to select your queue carefully, because running your job in the appropriate queue can save you both turnaround time and SUs.

Note: All interactive processes are charged two times the amount of CPU time they use (i.e., charge factor 2.0). This charge factor is set so that interactive commands and utilities have quick response time and to encourage the use of the batch system for large, long-running jobs.

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Obtaining Allocation Info

show_accounts shows the allocations associated with your userid. For example, when you run show_accounts it displays something like this:

dash-login$ show_accounts
ID name      project      used     available
jdoe         sds122       100        405995

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Account Management through the XSEDE Portal

Trestles and Dash clusters are available through XSEDE. The XSEDE User Portal has tools available to manage accounts on this machine.

  • Log on to the XSEDE User Portal using the login information.
  • Then, choose the tab titled "MyXSEDE" for access to account information.

Tools include viewing system account usernames, changing passwords, adding users, and other XSEDE information.

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