THE HECToR SERVICE WILL CLOSE ON MARCH 21st 2014 AND WILL BE SUPERCEDED BY THE ARCHER SERVICE. Prospective users should refer to the ARCHER Website. These pages are kept for historical reasons only.

Cost of Access to HECToR

Allocation Units

All projects are allocated budgets on HECToR for compute time and disk space. There is a notional cost associated with the compute time used on the service. No specific charge is made for other things - disk space, courses, helpdesk, etc. In your application you will specify the amount of time you need, and the J-eS software will calculate how much the compute time will cost your Research Council.

Calculations use a standard Allocation Unit of CPU time, which will be constant throughout the service. The Allocation Unit (kAU) can be thought of as a unit of computational work, roughly equivalent to a 1 Tflop/s processor running for 1 hour, as assessed by the Linpack benchmark (Rmax). Thus, a 60 Tflop/s computer provides 60 kAUs per hour.

The same kAU is will used to measure CPU time in grant applications, in the HECToR SAFE accounting procedures and on the system itself, throughout the service. However, there will be number of different components in the system, and the system will be progressively upgraded, so that there will be a variety of different processors at different times; because of this, the relationship between the kAU and the CPU hour will vary.

The amount of kAUs required varies depending on the individual project. Guidelines on how to calculate your kAU requirements are included in the application form. Some projects may only require a few thousand kAUs, whereas other projects may require many millions.

Costs per kAU

The initial cost of HECToR was shared between BBSRC, EPSRC and NERC. These are referred to as Partner Research Councils. The other Research Councils are charged at a higher rate.

Scalar kAU Rates

Phase kAUs/Core Hour Cores Per Node kAUs/Node Hour
Phase 1 XT4 (Oct 2007 - Jun 2009) 0.005 2 0.010
Phase 2a XT4 (Aug 2009 - Sep 2010) 0.007 4 0.028
Phase 2b XE6 (Oct 2010 - November 2011) 0.007 24 0.168
Phase 3 XE6 (December 2011 - March 2012) 0.007 32 0.125
Phase 3 XE6 (Mar 2012 - August 2012) 0.004 32 0.125*
Phase 3 XE6 (Sep 2012 - Sep 2013) 0.004 32 0.140**

* This includes a 45% discount on the Linpack AU Rate.

** This includes a 40% discount on the Linpack AU Rate.


Costs per kAU for Partner Research Councils

Phase Scalar cost/kAU (£) Vector cost/kAU (£)
Phase 1 (Oct 2007 - July 2009) 63.54 50.84
Phase 2a/b (Aug 2009 - November 2011) 13.71 10.97
Phase 3 5.78 NA

Costs per kAU for other Research Councils

Phase Scalar cost/kAU (£) Vector cost/kAU (£)
Phase 1 (Oct 2007 - July 2009) 107.65 861.17
Phase 2a/b (Aug 2009 - November 2011) 18.95 151.61
Phase 3 (December 2011 - ) 8.05 NA