The HECToR Service is now closed and has been superceded by ARCHER.

Critical Time Delivery Issues

This page outlines the Service's policies in respect of jobs which require special handling, outside the normal facilities of the batch system.

Requests for higher priority

A user may request that a particular job be given higher priority. A facility is provided within SAFE for this to be done.

Such requests are considered to be exceptional. They are normally considered by USL personnel, and unless there are particular reasons, they will be granted. Reasons for declining such a request include:

  • That it might substantially interfere with or delay the work of other users;
  • That the user appears to be using this facility constantly in order to force work which is not urgent to the top of the queues.

In these cases, the request will be discussed with the user's Principal Investigator or Project Manager. If agreement cannot be reached, the issue will be referred to the Service Director, who will take a final decision.

Exceptional jobs

Exceptional jobs are those which cannot be run in the context of the normal configuration of the service, because they require, for example

  • guaranteed turn round time;
  • use of the whole system;
  • large amounts of temporary storage;
  • prebooked time slots, eg, for computational steering.

Requests to run exceptional jobs should be made in the first instance to the helpdesk, and should be accompanied by a brief justification for the request. They will be considered by the manager of USL, who will consult with the PI of the project concerned, and with the manager of OSG. Our initial mindset will be to grant such requests if we can. The main reason for not doing so would be that the impact on the work of other users would be excessive, compared to the benefits listed in the justification; there is a balance to be struck.

In cases where no agreement can be reached, the issue will be referred to the Service Director, who will take a final decision.