Allocation and User Account Policies

For using NREL’s high-performance computing (HPC) systems, there are policies for project allocations and user accounts.

Project Allocations

A “Project” is work that is associated with an allocation of resources (compute time and/or storage). Project allocations have an allocation period. Project allocations may be renewed through the resource allocation request process. A project has a principal investigator (PI), Lead, Alternate Lead, and project members.

Project States

A project is in the Active state once the project has been awarded an allocation and the date is within the specified allocation period. While a project is in the Active state:

  • The project PI/Lead/Alt may add or remove users from the project.
  • Project jobs run at normal priority until usage exceeds allocation.
  • Project jobs run at very low priority after usage exceeds allocation.

A project enters the Expired state once the date is after the end of the allocation period or if the project PI leaves the project and no new PI is identified. While a project is in the Expired state:

  • Project members are responsible for moving project data off of the systems.
  • Users may continue to log in to HPC systems for a period of 3 months after the project enters the Expired state to move relevant data off of HPC primary storage (primarily /projects/<project_id>) to another storage location.
  • Users may continue to log in to MSS (Mass Storage System) for a period of 15 months after the project enters the Expired state to move or remove data.

A project enters the Ended state 15 months after the project enters the Expired state or if all user accounts associated with the project are in the Retired state. When a project enters the Ended state:

  • User access to project data is disabled.
  • We reserve the right to delete project data from /projects/<project id>) and MSS (Mass Storage System).

If a project lead leaves, the project may continue with a new lead.  If the project lead is the only member of the project and leaves, the project moves to the Expired state.

User Accounts

A “User Account” is associated with an individual user of resources. User accounts may be associated with more than one project. All project members are eligible to request user accounts.  

Users are granted user accounts at their request, if eligible, and agreement to all HPC policies including the Appropriate Use Policy (AUP). AUP agreements expire one (1) year after they become active or when the contractual arrangement between the user’s employer and NREL ends, whichever is sooner. Users are responsible for moving their data before their account enters the retired state.

Account States

While a user account is in the Active state:

  • Users will receive email announcements and updates about NREL HPC Systems.
  • Users will receive warnings about password expiration.
  • Users will receive warnings as the AUP expiration date approaches.
  • Users will receive email warnings as date for transition to the Retired state approaches.

A user account moves from the Active to the Inactive state when there have been no logins to any NREL HPC system for 60 days.

Users can prevent their accounts from moving from an Active to Inactive state by logging in, utilizing password authentication at least once in 60 days.

User accounts enter the Retired state when any of these conditions are true:

  • AUP Expires (typically 1 year) or becomes invalid for other reasons (for example: change of employer, end of contractual arrangement between NREL and user employer)
  • User account has been in Locked state for 3 months or more
  • User account has not associated with any project in either an Active or Expired state for 3 months or more.
  • User accounts are immediately Retired and access to files is lost when the relationship between the user and their employer is terminated. 

When a user account enters the Retired state:

  • User will not be able to log in.
  • Data will be retained in /home/<username> for a period of 3 months.
  • Data will be retained in MSS for a period of 15 months.

Files in /scratch/<username> may be subject to purging at any time.