Request User Account
Information about how to apply for an account to use available Research Computing services is provided below.
Access to Legion, Iridis, and Unity services is provided through membership of Research Computing Consortia. These Consortia are based on research themes that encompass nearly all areas of UCL research which currently include a strong computational element. As part of the process outlined below, the Consortium leaders will carry out a very lightweight peer review of the work you are proposing to carry out on Legion, Iridis, or Unity, mainly to understand if your research falls under the remit of the Consortium you have asked to join.
Please note that the Iridis service is meant for work requiring more than 36 cores using message-passing processes only. The Unity service is intended for use by jobs that require 16GB or more RAM. We will consider other types of use, on a case-by-case basis.
To apply for an account to use the Legion, Iridis, or Unity services, please follow the process outlined below:
- Read and confirm your understanding of the Legion account Terms and Conditions (.pdf). Please note that the same terms apply to the use of the Unity and Iridis.
- Refer to the list of established Consortia (see above link) to see if your research area is already covered.
If your research area is covered, go to our access request page and fill in the form provided (We recommend that you use Firefox to fill this form). You will be prompted for your UCL user name and password for authentication. This login information will then be used to auto-populate the personal and contact information fields within the form - we ask that you provide us with a contact telephone number if that field is not automatically populated. After clicking the "Next" button, you then will be asked to provide us with information about your research, previous experience etc under the following tabs:
- Experience - You will be asked if the application is to renew an existing account (i.e. you already have a Legion account, and are re-applying, as required, to have your work transferred to the upgraded Legion service in due course) or to create a new account (i.e. you do not currently have a Legion or Unity account) which implies that you wish to start making use of the existing services immediately. You will also be asked to describe your experience in using High Performance Computing systems, so that we can assess your support requirements.
- Funding - You are required to provide information about the grant from which your project is funded (if it is funded), including the project account code. The project account code is a string of characters which UCL Finance user to identify the source of your funding. Please contact the relevant Principal Investigator who should be able to provide you with this information. The code will be validated within the form. Note: if you find that the code you have been provided is being found invalid, it may be a Grant Ledger code rather than a Grant code. You can test that using the validator tool on the Financial Information Systems website.
- Project Details - You will be asked specific information regarding your project, namely the Consortium you wish the project to be included within, the service required (choose either Legion or Unity) the Project's ID String and software required. Please note that the Project's ID String is a memorable character string created by you and used to register your project within our scheduling system for resource allocation purposes. This must start with a letter and have between 8 and 16 letters and/or numbers only. You can also apply using an existing project string within your consortium (ask your work colleagues about it). This string will added to your UNIX groups, meaning that if users are in the same project, they will be able to share files with each other.
- Objectives - You will be asked to provide details of your research objectives and explain how use of the Legion or Unity service will help you meet your goals.
- Terms & Conditions - You will be asked to confirm that you agree with UCL's computing regulations and with the Terms and Conditions for the Legion service (as above).
- For all fields there is an explanatory note which you can access by clicking on the "?" symbol.
- The Consortium Leader will then liaise with the Research Computing team to request that you be granted access to the service using your UCL userID, subject to general CRAG policy. Please note that the Leader of the Consortium to which you have applied may ask for clarification regarding your application, and that you may also be asked to meet with members of the Research Computing team to discuss your proposed use of Legion or Unity, prior to your account being set up.
If you don't think your work fits with an existing consortium, please email the Research Computing support team at rc-support AT ucl.ac.uk, outlining the work you propose conducting on Legion or Unity. We will advise you on which established Consortium you should join, or on the status of another relevant Consortium that is in the process of formation. A 'pending’ consortium will be used to accommodate other work as an interim measure.
Researchers who wish to use Legion or Unity should also refer to the information about resource allocation provided on the CRAG pages and note information provided below about charges for use of Research Computing services.
Please read the following access policy for guidance on completing this form:
- CfI Access Policy is owned by the Research Computing Working Group
- All UCL researchers are able to apply for accounts to use the Emerald service, regardless of research domain or source of funding.
- Applicants are required to complete the attached form for the Emerald service only - access to Iridis is done via the standard application form (see above) for Research Computing services.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Can this project/workload be readily performed on Legion? Examples of reasons it may not be possible to run the workload on Legion may include: need for a large scale GPU resource; genuine and demonstrable need for rapid throughput of workload
- Can this project/workload be completed on the national services such as HECToR/ARCHER? Examples of reasons it may not be possible to run the workload on HECToR/ARCHER may include: EU funding precludes their use; other (genuine) reasons related to access policy; architectural or other technical compatibility concerns; need for a large scale GPU resource
- Priority will be given to ‘capability’ and ‘large-scale’ projects/workloads.
- Priority will be given to projects that include an element of collaboration between CfI partner institutions (Bristol, Oxford, Southampton and UCL).
- Priority will be given to projects that include an element of collaboration with an industrial partner.
- It will be the responsibility of the applicant to explain/demonstrate how their application meets the above criteria.
- Applicants may be required to meet with a member(s) of the Research Computing and Facilitating Services group in order to discuss/progress their application, prior to their application being approved/declined.
- CfI access policies may be subject to change as the Centre evolves and matures.
other access shall be at the discretion of the RCWG and/or
- CfI Access Policy are enacted by the CRAG via ongoing monthly meetings; applications for access will be a standard agenda item at CRAG meetings, with UCL CfI usage being monitored alongside that of Legion.
- Incomplete application forms will not be accepted – it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that they have completed all required fields in order for their application to be reviewed at the next monthly CRAG meeting.
(18/04/2011) Following redevelopment to include the Myriad Desktop machines, Research Computing are pleased to announce the Condor service is available again.
Condor is a distributed high-throughput cluster of Windows PCs, ideal for running large numbers of similar jobs. The Pool uses the Condor resource management system developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The redevelopment has led to greatly increased capacity and Condor can be considered as an alternative to Legion for running large numbers of smaller, serial jobs where the software required is also available for Windows (although see the link below for restrictions).
Information about this service and how to access it can be found here.
If you would like to use the Condor service, either as an alternative to Legion for your jobs or you have particular jobs that may be suitable for Condor, please contact the Research Computing team at rc-support [AT] ucl.ac.uk
Applications for UCL visitors to use the Legion or Unity services are welcomed. Please note that:
- Applicants must have a central UCL account. Queries about how to obtain a UCL account for visitors should be addressed, in the first instance, to your Departmental Administrator.
- Account applications should specify the UCL grant under which the work is being carried out, if possible, as well as an associated UCL group or researcher.
- Account applications may not be submitted on behalf of another except to cover accessibility requirements, as the account application process includes agreeing to relevant legal terms and conditions.
No direct charges are currently applicable for non-exceptional use of any Research Computing services.
'Non-exceptional’ in this context is defined as being any use of services under the standard resource allocation policy for the service defined by the CRAG.
Examples of 'exceptional' use include:
- Use of an unusually large number of CPU hours over the duration of the project (reservation)
- Use of a specified number of CPU hours over a specific or short period of time (reservation)
- Where the deployment of an alternative software environment is required
- Use by a project which includes a significant number of non-UCL participants or which is not led by UCL
The provision of 'exceptional' resources as defined above is subject to:
- The express prior approval of the Computational Resource Allocation Group (CRAG) - please contact Clare Gryce, Research Computing Manager at c.gryce AT ucl.ac.uk in the first instance.
- A charge of 5.7p per CPU/hour (at time of writing - this value subject to change) for use of the Legion cluster.
Researchers submitting project proposals that assume the 'non exceptional' use of Research Computing services are also advised to contact the CRAG prior to submission of the proposal. The above unit cost may be used to illustrate the notional value of services that will be provided to the project. Please contact Clare Gryce, Research Computing Manager at c.gryce AT ucl.ac.uk in the first instance.
Page last modified on 09 dec 13 10:32