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. 4-OP-H-5  FSU Information Security Policy
      2. 4-OP-H-8  Wireless Data Communications
      3. 4-OP-F-7  Safeguarding of Confidential Financial and Personal Information
      4. 4-OP-H-10  Information Technology Disaster Recovery and Data Backup Policy
      5. 4-OP-H-12  Information Privacy Policy
    2. 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.
    3. You will not attempt to subvert or circumvent any system that allocates resources.
  3. RCC resources are provided by the University for research and educational use only.  Commercial, administrative, or non-University related use of RCC resources is prohibited unless agreed upon with the RCC director.

2. Account Policy

  1. We grant all RCC users a unique account on our system. This account is managed by the RCC and is separate from other accounts (e.g. your FSUID).
  2. Each RCC Account may be used only 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 periodically update account passwords (see "Password Expiration" below).
  5. The Research Computing Center provides three types of accounts, Faculty accounts, Sponsored accounts and Non-System accounts. 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.
    1. Faculty Accounts
      1. Anyone affiliated with FSU in 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 wishes to sponsor an account must provide explicit approval for any non-faculty user.
      4. A faculty account holder must confirm approval for accounts that he or she sponsors on an annual basis.
      5. Upon separation from FSU, a faculty account will be converted to a non-faculty account.  Subsequently, the account and any accounts sponsored by this account will be required to find an alternative sponsor to be able to continue using RCC resources. 
    2. Sponsored Accounts
      1. Anyone can apply for an RCC sponsored account at the discretion of any faculty member with an active RCC faculty account.  This includes FSU students, staff members, and collaborators not otherwise affiliated with FSU.  
      2. We void all account requests that have not been approved by sponsors after 14 days. In this case, the person requesting the sponsored account must re-apply.
      3. A sponsored account holder may request a change in sponsorship at any time. The new sponsor must approve the request.
      4. Upon separation from FSU, no change occurs to a sponsored account status.
      5. Approval for a sponsored account may be revoked by the account holder's sponsor at any time.  If this happens, the sponsored account holder must select a new sponsor in order to continue using RCC resources.
      6. Sponsors must verify approval for all sponsored accounts at least once every 365 days.  If a sponsor has not verified approval for an account within this time period, RCC will revoke approval.  In such case, the sponsored account holder must either obtain approval or select a new sponsor in order to continue using RCC resources.
    3. Non-System Accounts
      1. FSU Faculty members who do not wish to use system resources, but need to sponsor other users can indicate that they would like a non-system account.
      2. Non-system accounts do not have access to any RCC resources.
      3. Non-system accounts are exempt from password reset policies.
      4. A non-system account holder can request system access at any time, and vice versa.  Upon upgrading to system access, the account will become subject to password reset policies.
      5. Upon separation from FSU, a faculty account will be converted to a non-faculty account and therefore this account and any accounts sponsored by this account will be required to find an alternative sponsor to be able to continue using RCC resources. 
  6. Password Expiration
    1. RCC account holders with system access must change login passwords at-least once every 200 days.
      1. After 180 days of not changing your password, you will receive a warning via email.
      2. After 200 days of not changing your password, your system access will be temporarily suspended.
      3. After 360 days of not changing your password, your account will be deactivated.
      4. After 400 days of not changing your password, all data stored in your account on RCC systems can be purged.
    2. For faculty account holders who also have system access, your account will be converted to a non-system user account after 360 days of not changing your password.  System access can be restored via explicit request.
    3. RCC account holders may not set a password that matches any of the 10 most recently used passwords for a given account.

C. High Performance Computing Policy

The High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster is a shared resource, and you must consider other users when using the system. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  6. Data that is tied to an expired NCU or storage purchase might be deleted by discretion of the RCC director.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 any user account in violation of these policies after approval by the RCC Director.
  2. The RCC Director reserves the right to temporarily or 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 about any disciplinary actions.
  4. Any action will be communicated with the account holder and, if applicable, the sponsor of the account. 
  5. Appeals concerning the enforcement of any policy described herein should be made to the RCC Director. 
    1. If the RCC Director cannot identify a mutually agreeable resolution, then appeals should be made in writing to the HPC Advisory Panel chair. 
    2. The Advisory Panel Chair will dispute appeals to the members of the Advisory Panel for discussion and resolution. All Panel decisions are final.

F. Support Policy

  1. RCC staff will make a reasonable effort to ensure sytems and services remain available at all times.
  2. RCC staff will resolve service failures in a reasonable time during regular operating hours.
  3. RCC staff will provide support for services only during regular operating hours
    1. Regular operating hours are defined as Monday-Friday, 8am - 5pm, with the exception of University holidays.
  4. RCC staff will respond to support requests within one business day of request submission.