Prospective users HowTo

This page describes how new labs can get access to the Scientific Computing facilities and how to get funding for computing with SCITAS. It is aimed towards new Professors joining EPFL or, more generally, willing to start computing with us.


Accounts

Free accounts

Everyone can try out our service with a free account. Please note that these accounts are individual and not linked to a lab.

Paying accounts

Premium

Once you are comfortable with the provided environment and you wish to run production calculations, you can ask for a pay-per-use account (Premium) for your lab/group. A contract shall be signed by the head of the lab prior to creating the account. You will receive a monthly invoice and usage report.

Commitments

When your consumption has reached cruise speed, you can commit for the usage of a certain amount of CPU time for four years. Please contact us.

Rates

Detailed price list can be viewed here.

Rates may be adjusted yearly to reflect changes in the costs of building and operating the facility. Users are informed of price changes with a minimum of one month’s notice.

CPU time

The current rates for CPU time are:

HPC standard: 0.0132 CHF per core hour
HPC Accelerated: 0.36 CHF per GPU hour

Storage costs

SCITAS provides medium term high-performance storage with backup. This storage is directly attached to the clusters. A contract is signed prior to setting the quota. If the costs for storage shall be eligible for a specific project, the name of the project needs to be mentioned on the contract.

Costs of data storage are claimed via internal invoices at the following rates:
177 CHF per TB for 3 years (it is possible to purchase yearly storage at 59 CHF per TB)
Backup: +177 CHF per TB for 3 years

On demand, we offer 50GB per group for free.
(This offer is valid for units/laboratories only.)

Specific application support

SCITAS can provide specific application support for scientific software development:
1) Consulting on code architecture and best practices
2) Profiling and optimization
3) Parallelization

The rate is 664.20 CHF per day (81 CHF per hour).

Costs for specific application support are claimed via internal invoices.


CPU costs eligibility

Our costs are eligible with FNS and ERC.

The invoiced price is the price that will be reimbursed to you by the FNS/ERC.

The name of the project should be mentioned on the contract with SCITAS.

 

How to indicate costs in grant proposals

The following text may be used to describe the SCITAS facilities:

SCITAS

SCITAS is the High Performance Computing facility at EPFL. It counts more than 400 active users in approximately 180 labs and its user base is constantly growing. SCITAS provides the research community at EPFL with computing resources and expertise in the fields of 1) General purpose and specialized computing platforms, 2) Training on a wide range of topics – from how to use clusters to advances parallel programming techniques and 3) Specific application support – 3.1) Consulting and code architecture and best practices, 3.2) Profiling and optimization and 3.3) Parallelization. Furthermore, storage of computational data for the duration of the project can be handled by the SCITAS platform.

The following text can be adapted and used as a resource justification:

CPU time

This project will require on average __N1__ Million core hours per year on a general purpose cluster architecture (standard HPC cores). According to the current fees (see table below), this will amount to __N2__ kCHF per year, thus __N3__ kCHF for the duration of the project. Costs are claimed via internal invoices, which do not include indirect costs elements, profit margin or mark-up.


ERC proposals

As a general rule, costs for SCITAS services should be indicated under direct costs → “Other goods and services” → “Other” in the budget table provided in the template for part B2 of the ERC application.


FNS proposals

FNS Ambizione

You can indicate your collaboration with SCITAS under 10. Collaboration (national and international). Under 13. Requested funding → Research funds, you can add the costs for Computing time and data. Application support costs are added under Additional research costs (incl. consumables)/