NCI's terms and conditions of access explain the roles and responsibilities of all users of our infrastructure and services. 

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 Acts listed above.

Users who are granted authorised login access also agree that:

  • You will not use NCI facilities and resources for the for development, production and/or use of:
    • weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including but not limited to nuclear weapon, chemical weapon, biological weapon and WMD delivery systems such as rocket systems, missiles, and/ or unmanned air vehicles capable of a range of at least 300 kilometers;
    • Research on nuclear fusion, development of nuclear reactors or parts/ accessories thereof, production of heavy water;
    • Development of microorganisms/ toxins, development of rockets/ unmanned aircraft, research on space (astronomy excluded) by or on behalf of any military or other defense organization;
    • Any nuclear explosive activity, nuclear fuel-cycle activity and/ or heavy-water production which is not covered by IAEA safeguards; nor
    • Other military applications.
  • You will not access NCI facilities or resources while in any of the following countries:

Iraq, 
North Korea,
Cuba, 
Sudan,
South Sudan,
Syria,
Afghanistan,
Central African Republic,
Democratic Republic of Congo,
Lebanon,
Libya, or
Somalia.

  • You will 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 allocation, 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 your access to NCI resources, and activities on NCI systems, will be logged and monitored for security purposes, and to support management of facility resources;
  • You acknowledge that NCI may require you to change your account password without prior notice to satisfy data and account security requirements;
  • You acknowledge that NCI may suspend your user account without notice for security purposes; 
  • You will not access any data on NCI systems which are outside the scope of your projects and their data dependencies and workflows; 
  • 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 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.

Click here to view NCI's IT Security Policy. 

Use of Project Allocations

Project leaders and research users must be aware that the grants awarded are entitlements to use a resource allocation. 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 allocation (e.g., collaboration entitlement, NCMAS, etc.) from which the allocation has been granted, and the optimal utilisation of the facility as a whole.

Unused compute allocations will not be carried over quarterly boundaries.

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 our peak and cloud systems—which are backed-up on tape on a nightly basis;
  • Scratch storage on its supercomputer system (Gadi /scratch), 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 90 days (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)

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 an allocation 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.

Storage back up and responsibilities
Directory Back up Responsible for back up
/home Backed up nightly to tape NCI
/scratch Not backed up, stored up to 90 days User
/g/data No automated back up User

Reporting

The NCI infrastructure is provided by the Australian Government through its National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). 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 Australia), an NCRIS enabled capability 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.

Please note, usage refers to both NCI HPC infrastructure and data services. 

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.