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Inappropriate Use Policy

For NREL's high-performance computing (HPC) systems, learn what constitutes inappropriate use and how incidents of abuse are handled.

Inappropriate use is use that knowingly, and disregarding both prior warnings and other satisfactory options, violates our Appropriate Use Policies and in particular (a) makes the system difficult to use for other users by exhausting a shared resource (such as bandwidth to /home), or (b) works around established controls (like licensing terms documented on relevant application pages of hpc.nrel.gov, scheduler or storage policy, or /scratch file aging). In order to maintain a productive computational resource for the whole of the user community, the following processes have been put into place.

First Incident

  • A member of the HPC User Program team will get in touch with the associated user, either via e-mail or phone, to explain the situation, educate, and help fix the situation.

  • The user’s ability to run new jobs or store new data may be suspended temporarily if impact on the broader user community is severe. For situations severely impacting a common resource, a user’s jobs may be terminated if required to return the system to normal operation.

  • Once user has acknowledged the situation and a remedy has been agreed upon between the user and the HPC User Program, ability to run new jobs or store new data will be restored.

Second Incident

  • The relevant HPC User Program staff will talk to the associated user and the user’s line manager (NREL staff), NREL sponsor (non-staff, Lab-sponsored project), or project sponsor (non-Lab-sponsored project).

  • If impact is significant, suspend running new jobs or storing new data. Terminate jobs as required.

  • Once user and their manager or Lab sponsor has acknowledged and participated in a remedy, or the project sponsor for non-Lab-sponsored projects has acknowledged that they have been notified, ability to run new jobs or store new data will be restored.

Third and Subsequent Incidents

The associated user’s access to systems will be suspended for at least 1 month, pending negotiated agreement on a remedy among the HPC User Program, HPC Operations, the project HPC Lead, and NREL line management or the project sponsor as appropriate.

If a user is part of multiple projects, suspension will apply specifically to the project associated with inappropriate activity. Continuation of inappropriate use from a second project will lead to immediate suspension of access to that project as well.