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Allocation Process Update

October 09, 2020

The allocation process resulted in the allocation of 72M AUs on Eagle to start the Fiscal Year 21 Allocation Cycle. 

After allocation requests are submitted, the HPC Operations team reviews each and works to clarify or correct any needed items on the request.  Then projects are assigned to a Technical Readiness Reviewer who reviews the request for technical fit on NREL HPC resources and records opinions for allocation decision-makers to consider about appropriateness of HPC resources. In some cases clarifying information is requested of the project team during the TRR review.  Once all TRR reviews are complete, HPC Operations provides a list of all the projects to the allocation decision-makers.

Projects requesting an allocation of <= 20,000 AUs take a shortcut through the decision process.  Initial project reviews and TRRs are completed just as any other allocation request.  Then the HPC User Program Lead at NREL can issue allocations up to 20,000 AUs.  This year the Pilot program issued 390K AUs for 25 EERE projects and 340K AUs for 20 NREL projects via the 'Pilot' program.

EERE allocates 85% of the AUs on Eagle.  The process is overseen by the HPC working group which involves representatives from most of the EERE offices and programs. The HPC working team provides recommendations to Office directors and the DASs (Deputy Assistant Secretary) for concurrence.  This year EERE considered requests totaling 97M AUs verses an AU 'budget' of 44M AUs.  Also two offices (AMO and WETO) have purchased incremental capability in Eagle, bringing the total EERE 'budget' to 55M AUs.  In total, EERE provided allocations of 61M AUs to 138 projects. Because of the degree of mismatch between request and available cycles, deliberations took until 9/30 before the final allocation decisions were made and communicated to NREL.

NREL allocates 15% of the AUs on Eagle.  The process is overseen by the newly formed Institutional Advanced Computing Allocation Committee (IACAC) which considers and makes allocation decisions for both HPC (Eagle) and AWS Cloud (Stratus) allocations.  This year IACAC considered requests totaling 19M AUs verses an AU 'budget' of 9.7M AUs.  In total, IACAC provided allocations of 10M AUs to 62 projects.