BRC Grows Faculty Computing Allowance by 50%

User Growth and Capacity charts, showing high growth in both, from the launch in 2014 to summer 2016

Effective today, UC Berkeley campus faculty and their research teams will be receiving 50% more free compute time on the campus’s high-performance computing cluster, Savio.

Berkeley Research Computing (BRC) is increasing the free computation available to all Berkeley faculty and PIs via the Faculty Computing Allowance, originally launched in May 2015. Enthusiastic response to this allowance across a broad range of campus research domains has helped drive rapid growth in the number of Savio users. Over the same period, growth resulting from faculty and PI contributions of hardware, via the Savio Condo Cluster Program, has continued to expand Savio’s computational capacity. The increase in computational capacity, coupled with a growing number of researchers who are exhausting their Faculty Computing Allowances, prompted the decision to increase the annual allowance by 50%, from the original 200,000 Service Units per year to 300,000.

Prof. Eugene Chiang (Astronomy, and Earth and Planetary Science) is a Condo cluster partner. However, some computational work performed by his research group needs to use specialized (BigMem) nodes, different from those contributed to Chiang’s condo, to which the group has unlimited access. The Faculty Computing Allowance gives them access to these specialized Savio resources. Chiang commented: “This increase to the Faculty Computing Allowance is most welcome news. The high-memory nodes that my research collaborators use are not always available at other institutions. The seamless and practically instant support that BRC provides to campus researchers has been invaluable to my research on planet formation and evolution.”

For the current year (2016/17), all active Faculty Computing Allowances will be increased by 100,000 Service Units (SUs) (equivalent to 100,000 core hours on a standard compute node).

Faculty researchers can learn more on the Faculty Computing Allowance pages, and can get access to Savio by filling out the Requirements Survey