National Computational Infrastructure

NCI

Conditions of Use

All users of NCI infrastructure and services agree that they will keep themselves informed of and comply with all relevant legislation and The Australian National University policies and rules, including but not limited to

and both acknowledge and understand that a breach of these will result in not only a loss of access to NCI resources but the user may be subject to Federal criminal prosecution resulting in fines and/or gaol legislated under the Act’s listed above.

Additionally users who are granted authorised login access agree that:

  • You agree to comply with NCI’s reporting requirements and will acknowledge NCI in any publications produced using NCI Infrastructure;
  • You will notify NCI (via my.nci.org.au) of any change in your contact details or your employment status (or the status of any user registered of your project if a project leader) within 7 days of a change;
  • You will only use NCI facilities and resources for activities that are related directly to approved projects;
  • You acknowledge that NCI resources are shared and you are responsible for ensuring the efficient utilisation your resource share, agree to minimise any disruption to other users within your project and/or the wider system and will comply with project leader resource usage directives given for a project that you are a member of;
  • You will never disclose or share your password or credentials with anyone, including fellow project members, or NCI staff;
  • You will manage your data in accordance with data retention requirements;
  • You acknowledge that NCI is not at fault in the event of a loss of data, unauthorised access, or unanticipated downtime of the facilities;
  • You acknowledge that NCI reserves the right to charge you the cost of any excessive data transfer charges incurred by NCI, and agree to pay fees passed on by our internet service provider for data transfers or actions initiated by you;
  • You agree while a user, that NCI can use your institutional email address for all dealings with NCI and give permission for your email address to be included in mailing lists to notify users of all critical service updates including, but not limited to, downtime notices and service updates

and acknowledge that a failure to comply with will any of the authorised login access conditions will result in the termination of  your access.

Ongoing access will be subject to a 12 monthly renewal of agreement to these conditions.

Use of Project Allocations

Project leaders and research users must be aware that the grants awarded are entitlements to use a resource share. Accordingly, while every effort is made to support projects that are granted allocations, it is not possible to guarantee full utilisation due to a combination of scheduling, networking and other capacity issues.

Project leaders and research users who have large resources allocations need to be aware that such allocations will need to be actively administered so that the grant is consistently, and uniformly, used throughout each quarterly allocation period. If this is not done, it may compromise both the use of the relevant access share (e.g., partner share, NCMAS, etc.) from which the allocation has been granted, and the optimal utilisation of the facility as a whole.

Resources allocated should be used in as efficient a manner as possible to ensure the effectiveness of the entire facility. Accordingly, users should:

  • Request only the physical resources that reasonably reflect the needs of their jobs;
  • Be aware that system administrators closely monitor the use of facilities and can identify inefficient practices. In cases where the usage is entirely contrary to the efficiency and effectiveness of the facility, this will be drawn to the attention of the user(s), together with suggestions and a request that their practices be rectified. Where these requests and/or suggestions go unheeded, NCI, at its discretion, may suspend access to the computational resources.

Data Retention

NCI provides:

  • Home directories (/home) on its peak and cloud systems—which are backed-up on tape on a nightly basis;
  • Scratch storage on its supercomputer system (/short), which is a temporary (input and output) working storage on which files may be retained for the duration of active work, or for a period of up to 6 months (subject to change)
  • Project storage (/g/data) for the long-term retention of data on its high-performance persistent disk store, and/or on tape.
  • Tape archive (/massdata)
Directory Back up Responsible for back up
/home Nightly to tape NCI
/short Stored up to 6 months then deleted User
/g/data No automated back up User

Project leaders and research users with large-scale data and storage requirements must establish a data management plan, in consultation with the NCI support team, and have access to a share that can provide the necessary storage. NCI staff will work with the project team to provide a solution that is effective for the project, which is efficient for NCI, and which maximises the security of the data to within the limits of the resources available.

While NCI will make every effort to ensure the security of your data, it is unable to provide absolute guarantees to this effect.

Reporting

The NCI infrastructure is provided by the Australian Government through its National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. Accordingly, NCI is required to report on the usage of the facility, and on the impact of outcomes arising from its use.

Project leaders and users must therefore understand that their research usage of the facility comes with obligations to complete reasonable reporting requirements (e.g., progress reports, provision of publication data, etc.).

Acknowledgement of NCI in publications

It is a condition of use that use of the NCI facilities be acknowledged in publications.

An acceptable form of words is: This research was undertaken with the assistance of resources from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), which is supported by the Australian Government.

Where NCI staff have made a significant contribution to the conduct of the research, it is appropriate that they be acknowledged as a co-author of the publication. In this case, the relevant institutional affiliation should be recorded as National Computational Infrastructure, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.

Value of Resources

University researchers may wish to quote the value of resources allocated on NCI facilities as an in-kind contribution in grant applications to the national research councils, i.e., the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The current value of the computational resources for academic usage is set at $0.04 per core hour (excl. GST).

Storage provision can be costed separately and it is suggested that researchers contact NCI at help@nci.org.au for an estimate.

Off-Net Transfers

Where possible, users are expected to access the NCI facilities via AARNet (referred to as “on-net” access), or through an internet service provider (ISP) that peers with AARNet.

While data transfers to or from facilities which are “on-net” do not incur additional charges, transfers into NCI from facilities which are “off-net” incur a charge of approximately $5.50 per gigabyte.

Accordingly, NCI:

  • Will cover the AARNet charges which it incurs, although projects must pay for any communications charges billed directly to them by AARNet, or any other communications organisations;
  • Reserves the right to charge users the cost of excessive off-net data traffic as a condition of access to the facilities.

NB: You can query the off- versus on-net status of an IP address on this AARNet webpage.

Accessing Assistance

NCI User Services provides a Help Desk (or help@nci.org.au) to assist users in the conduct of their work, and the use of the NCI systems.

It is accepted practice that users will consult NCI’s User Documentation before contacting the Help Desk, in order to reduce the workload generated by otherwise unnecessary queries.

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