The SDC Team#
The HPC team started in the Shared ICT Services Centre in 2017 that served ULB and VUB for 4 years. Since April 2021, it transformed into the Scientific Data & Compute (SDC) team, a new division integrated into the DICT department of VUB.
HPC Team Lead
VSC Operational Team
Research Software Engineer
Research Software Engineer
Ph.D. Computational Chemistry
Member of IIHE
Master in Physics
Object storage manager
Object storage user support
Master in Computing Science
The SDC team is pleased to offer you any of our services upon request by contacting us at VUB-HPC Support.
Computing as a service#
We offer a Tier-2 HPC cluster with both CPU and GPU resources which is free to use for all researchers. If you need any kind of calculation where your laptop is insufficient, we can help. Access it either through an SSH client or a notebook platform.
VSC accounts & access#
We will support you in creating a VSC account for yourself and gaining access to our systems. For classes or training, we can pre-create accounts in bulk. If you cannot log in, we will help you figure out the problem.
We offer introductory training sessions for both Linux and HPC (tailored to our cluster). We organize these courses twice a year, see Training courses.
Through the VSC we also offer a wide variety of courses about all aspects of scientific computing. You can find these on the VSC website: https://www.vscentrum.be/vsctraining.
Tier-2 hardware co-investments#
You need HPC resources (either CPU, GPU or storage) and have some money to spend on it? Tell us which resources you need and what you expect from them. We will add your budget to our annual investment budget and take care of all practical details (collecting price quotes, ordering, installing, testing, …). In return you will gain higher priority access to the resources you help to purchase, and of course we will take care of managing and updating it for you. If you want something else or more specific, we are open for discussion: VUB-HPC Support
We have a high-performance storage system (called the scratch) attached to our HPC cluster. This system is meant for active data. Next to that we also have a more general-purpose storage system where we store the home and data directories of VSC users. Every VUB VSC user gets a default quota assigned on these storage systems. If you need more storage space, we offer this through a ‘virtual organization’ (see our documentation). We also offer storing and synchronizing public databases (for example with gene sequence data).
Scientific software installation#
We offer a large collection of software on our HPC cluster through the module system. If you need something not yet available or newer versions of what is available, we will be happy to install this for you. Just ask us at VUB-HPC Support. Instructions on how to use specific software is also provided at Specific Use Cases.
Tier-0 & Tier-1 projects advice#
If your project has outgrown our HPC cluster, we will help you to submit a project for Tier-1 or even Tier-0 access. For both Tier-1 and Tier-0 compute, you can request a starting grant to test and benchmark the system. The VSC also offers a Tier-1 cloud solution and a Tier-1 data storage platform. We will support you in getting access and submitting a project to use these.
Workflow building & porting#
A HPC cluster is a bit more complex (and powerful) than your laptop. If you have a working solution on your laptop, it might need adjusting to work efficiently on our systems. We are happy to help and advise you on this.
HPC jobs troubleshooting#
Your job is giving errors that make no sense to you? Or something is not doing what you want it to do? Fear not, we can help! Please give us a clear description of what you want to do and what is not working. Bonus points if you can give us clear directions to reproduce the problem!
Do you want anything that doesn’t really fit in our other services? Advice on any scientific computational problem? Ask us. We don’t know everything, but we can usually at least point you in the good direction.
Pixiu scientific research data#
Require storage for (sensitive) data? Our object data storage system called Pixiu can help! The data is safely stored in two VUB datacenters and not in a public cloud. You can access the data through the S3 protocol, and we keep track on who accesses the data.