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GPU and cluster computing

This page lists the GPU and other compute clusters which are available to the School of Informatics.

Why use GPUs for computing? See the GPGPU Computing page. To learn how to do it right, see the GPU cluster tips page.

1. GPGPU desktops

Some computers in the Informatics student labs are equipped with GPUs for GPGPU computing. They're in rooms 5.05 and 9.02 of Appleton Tower. 9.02 is restricted to final year undergraduates until end of semester 2 when the MSc students are granted access. Look for the bigger computers with "This is a GPGPU desktop" on their login screens. You can test GPU code on these machines before running it for real on a GPU cluster. Currently these machines include:

ariane:AT-5.05 atlas:AT-9.02 epoch:AT-5.05
glenn:AT-9.02 link:AT-5.05 kubrick:AT-9.02
russo:AT-9.02 soyuz:AT-5.05
starship:AT-9.02 stronsay:AT-9.02 tarantino:AT-9.02
turpie:AT-5.05 waititi:AT-9.02 wumpus:AT-9.02

2. Informatics student clusters

We are currently in the process of merging a number of the clusters into one single cluster. This cluster has some general use nodes and dedicated Partitions (queues) for postgraduate researchers and for the Machine Learning Practical course , but these can be used by others when they are not in use by their primary users. This cluster is a dedicated GPU cluster. If you do not automatically get access please submit an RT ticket.

The James and Charles cluster is for Pervasive Parallelism CDT and Data Science CDT students. It has GPUs.

The Hadoop cluster is for Extreme Computing students, but it can be used by others when not needed for that module. It's dedicated to Hadoop. There are no GPUs.

3. Informatics-affiliated research units

The Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation has a CPU/GPU cluster. There is also specific provision in this cluster for CDT in NLP students

Access to the cluster is via the head node using slurm, there is some initial documentation at the link below.

If you're in the ILCC or an NLP CDT student you should have access to the cluster automatically, If you have problems accessing the head node then submit an RT ticket mentioning that you're an ILCC/CDT member.

The Centre for Speech Technology Research has GPU, multicore and large memory compute servers. The CSTR computer support page has details.

The Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour has a single node cluster with some GPUs it's reserved for people within IPAB

The Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute has a single node cluster with some GPUs it's reserved for people within AIAI

4. The University of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility (ECDF / Eddie) has a large scale (10,000 + cores) Linux cluster, a multi-terabyte parallel filesystem and some GPGPU provision (Nvidia Tesla K80 and Nvidia Titan X). It's free, or you can pay for priority access. For large scale HPC/HTC, ECDF should be your first choice.

Staff, visitors and research students get access automatically.

For information about access rights, please visit: Who can use Eddie.

Users with default access, so staff, PGRs and visitors are advised to use the Quickstart page at: Eddie Quickstart.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate taught students may get access, but only with the agreement of their supervisor, who should submit an online form at UG and PGT access form.

The Cloud Computing Service is currently (2023) one service: a Research Cloud (called "Eleanor") for academic staff and research students. Previously also an Enterprise Cloud (called "Grace") was available for anyone. At the moment information about Grace is not available. Each cloud has limited free access and a more extensive paid service.

The EPCC in the Bayes Centre has supercomputers and HPC clusters - the EPCC's HPC page has details. In particular, the EPCC hosts ARCHER2, the UK's premier academic research supercomputer, to which University of Edinburgh users have generous access, and CIRRUS, a UK Tier-2 national HPC facility with hundreds of CPU and GPU nodes and EIDF is a new GPU facility that's coming online which is related to the Data-Driven Innovation Programme.

5. HPC beyond Edinburgh

Time on an HPC facility is available via EPSRC calls. These can be queried on the UKRI website.

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