Policies

By collaborating with the Research Computing Center (RCC), you may access RCC technology assets. By using any RCC resource, you agree to abide by the following usage policy, and to use the RCC resources in a responsible manner.

The Research Computing Center (RCC) is an auxiliary unit within the Information Technology Services organization at Florida State University (FSU). It tries to enable research and education by maintaining a diverse campus cyberinfrastructure and by providing training opportunities and dedicated consulting.

This page details the policies that govern the use of the resources of RCC. By using any RCC resource, you agree to abide by the following policies and to use the RCC resources in a responsible manner. In addition to these policies, you must also agree to abide by all technology policies at Florida State University.

If you have any questions or remarks about this document, please contact the RCC Director.

A. General Usage Policy

  1. You understand that RCC resources are shared with other users and your actions can impact the work of those users. Practices that are acceptable on your personal computer devices can have serious impacts on our systems and may affect many other users.
  2. The following is a list of general guidelines that you agree to follow:
    1. You must abide by all University Information Technology Policies. These include, and are not limited to:
      1. OP-H-6 - Use of University Information Technology Resources
      2. OP-H-9 - Information Technology Security
      3. OP-F-7 - Safeguarding of Confidential Financial and Personal Information
      4. OP-H-12 - Network Access and Use Policy
  3. You are responsible for the proper use of all tools that the RCC provides, and for the confidentiality of any sensitive information entrusted to you.
  4. You will not attempt to subvert or circumvent any system that allocates resources.

​B. Account Policy

  1. We grant all RCC users a unique account on our system. This is an account managed by RCC and is separate from accounts you may have with your department or FSU, for example, your FSUID.
  2. Each RCC Account may only be used by the person who registered for the account.
  3. Each RCC account holder is responsible for keeping his or her login credentials secret. This includes, but is not limited to, passwords and private SSH certificates.
    1. Users are not permitted to share account credentials with anyone under any circumstances.
    2. The RCC systems provide many mechanisms for sharing data and compute resources with collaborators without the necessity of account sharing.
  4. You must update account passwords periodically (see "Password Expiration" below).
  5. The Research Computing Center provides two different types of accounts, Faculty accounts and Sponsored accounts.
    1. People who are not FSU employees or enrolled students may register for a Sponsored Account only if they are collaborating with FSU faculty for research or educational purposes related to FSU.
  6. The RCC director has the discretion to cancel any account that is not being used for FSU business.
  7. Faculty Accounts
    1. Anyone affiliated with FSU with a faculty position is eligible to apply for an RCC faculty account.
    2. Faculty account holders are eligible to sponsor accounts for non-faculty or outside collaborators.
    3. A faculty account holder that wants to sponsor an account must provide approval for any non-faculty user requesting an account and might be requested by RCC to periodically confirm sponsorship of accounts.
    4. Upon separation from FSU, a faculty account will be converted to a non-faculty account and any sponsored account by this account will be required to find an alternative sponsor.
  8. Sponsored Accounts
    1. Anyone can apply for and keep an RCC sponsored account at the discretion of a faculty member with an active RCC faculty account. Upon registration, non-FSU faculty, including students, staff, and outside collaborators must indicate the name of a faculty member who will provide sponsorship.
    2. We void all account requests that have not been approved by sponsors after a certain period days. In this case, the person requesting the sponsored account must re-apply.
    3. A non-faculty user may request a change in sponsorship at any time. The new sponsor must approve the request.
  9. Password Expiration
    1. All RCC users must change login passwords at-least once every 200 days.
      1. After 180 days of not changing your password, you will get a warning by email.
      2. After 200 days of not changing your password, your account will be locked.
      3. After 360 days of not changing your password, your account will be permanently removed from RCC, along with all data stored on RCC systems.
    2. For those faculty accounts that sponsor non-faculty accounts, we take additional action when a password expires:
      1. 20 days after a faculty account is disabled, all associated sponsored accounts will receive an email warning to change their sponsor.
      2. 90 days after a faculty account is disabled, all associated sponsored accounts will also be disabled. Sponsored accounts will be able to reactivate their accounts only after the faculty sponsor has done so.
      3. 160 days after a faculty account has been deleted, all associated sponsored accounts will also be deleted.

​C. High Performance Computing Policy

  1. The High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster is a shared resource, and you must consider other users when using the system.
  2. The cluster is divided up in sets of nodes and are accessible through the job scheduler through a queueing system.
    1. Everyone can submit jobs to a general access queue, this is a courtesy resource provided by RCC. This queue has access to a small subset of all nodes.
    2. Everyone can submit very short jobs to “backfill” queue(s). These are queues that run on FSU sponsored nodes.
    3. For teaching purposes, RCC can provide access to a dedicated classroom queue.
    4. Groups who have purchased Normalized Computing Units (NCU) will receive priority access to a subset of nodes through a dedicated queue. Part of the price of an NCU is sponsored by FSU and backfill job are allowed to run on these nodes with lower priority when these node are not in use.
  3. The following is a list of general rules that you agree to follow:
    1. You will execute all long-running interactive or non-interactive jobs using the Job Scheduler. You may not run any long-running jobs on the login nodes.
    2. You will allocate parallel jobs within the resources (processors and RAM) that you have requested or reserved via the Scheduler. You will not over-allocate resources for any job you submit.
    3. You will execute software in a responsible manner by not running highly experimental code that may compromise the usability or integrity of the RCC resources, including, but not limited to the login nodes, network fabric, compute nodes, or shared storage system.
  4. The objectives of the Job Scheduler are as follows:
    1. Provide predictable, responsive, and flexible means for an owner to access the computer processors that have been purchased under an owner agreement;
    2. provide fair access to the general access computer processors and the idle owner-based processors.

D. Shared Storage Policy

  1. The RCC provides a number of shared storage resources. RCC cannot guarantee complete security of data stored on any RCC system. While RCC Staff strive to ensure that data on RCC systems is secure and confidential, neither the RCC nor the Florida State University shall be held liable for any breach of security resulting in the compromise of sensitive or confidential data. It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure proper measures have been taken to protect sensitive or confidential information.
  2. RCC advise you to not store any protected or private data on our systems.
  3. RCC does not provide any backup mechanism, but will assists users with backuping up to FSU accepted service like Mozy or Backup As A Service (NWRDC).
  4. Every user will get an RCC provided home directory on most of our systems. If a user’s account becomes inactive or gets deleted, RCC can remove the data in that directory.
  5. Groups can purchase additional data that is not subjected to periodic cleaning as long as the purchase has not expired.
    1. Data that is tied to an expired NCU or storage purchase might be deleted by discretion of the RCC director.
  6. RCC may provide scratch space on some storage resource and this is accessible for all RCC users to temporarily store data. Files of a certain age will be deleted from the system on a periodical base.
  7. Data stored on the RCC resources might fall FSU’s policy on Record Management, for example, OP-F-3.
    1. It is up to the user to classify the type of data that is being stored and what retention and maintenance policy should apply.
    2. RCC will assume data is obsolete in case it needs to delete it as described by this policy, for example, if a file is stored for a longer period of time on a temporary scratch location or if an account gets deleted.
  8. You will store data that is in compliance with FSU Policies.

E. Violations and Enforcement

  1. The RCC Staff may take the following action immediately if any abuse or willful neglect to follow the policies described herein is identified:
    1. RCC staff will suspend or delete compute jobs in violation of these policies;
    2. RCC staff will delete any data in violation of these policies; and/or
    3. RCC staff may disable or delete any user account in violation of these policies.
  2. The RCC Director reserves the right to permanently bar access to any or all RCC resources. This may occur for particularly severe or repeated policy violations.
  3. For severe or repeated policy violations, the Director will convene with the RCC Advisory Panel Chair.
  4. Appeals concerning the enforcement of any policy described herein should be made to the RCC Director. If the RCC Director cannot identify a mutually agreeable resolution, then appeals should be made in writing to the HPC Advisory Panel chair. The Advisory Panel Chair will dispute appeals to the members of the Advisory Panel for discussion and resolution. All Panel decisions are final.