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BioHPC Cloud:
: User Guide

 


Lab Credit Accounts, Costs and Charging

Maintaining such a large pool of workstations along with the software and access infrastructure takes a lot of time and effort. Machines gradually age and need to be replaced. Therefore Bioinformatics Facility has to recover its BioHPC Cloud investment by charging users for access. Every BioHPC Cloud user must have access to (or be an owner of) a Lab credit account with Compute Units available to be used. Any user can set up a Lab credit account (using "My Accounts" page), but we strongly recommend that all users from the same research group use one Lab credit account created and maintained by a designated group member, the Lab credit account owner can add (and remove) other users as needed. Each Lab credit account must be credited with Compute Units, it can be done by selecting "Purchase Compute Units" link on "My Lab Credit Accounts" page, the units can be purchased with a Cornell account or a credit card (processed by Cornell Store, Bioinformatics Facility does not store nor processes credit card information). Compute Units can be exchanged for reservations on BioHPC machines; The amount of time per Compute Unit depends on the type of machine. Very roughly, a Compute Unit represents about one hour on a 'large' machine. Current pricing and precise exchange rates are listed on this page.

In order to reserve workstation time, a user needs to have access to a Lab credit account with sufficient amount of Compute Units. A user may belong to more than one Lab credit account, and then the user can select the appropriate account to apply when making a reservation. Only the hours actually used are charged, if a user cancels or shortens the reservation only the hours that have been used will be subtracted from the Lab credit account. However, available hours are computed with all the reserved time included to prevent overbooking. NOTE: "time used" is defined as the wall clock time elapsed when your reservation is active - it has nothing to do with how much you actually used the CPU/RAM etc during this time. "Time used" reflects the span for which you had the workstation reserved.

There are different types of Lab machines - e.g. general workstations, medium memory workstations, large memory workstations. Cost of time for different workstation types is different, but any lab credit account can be used with any machine type, just the amount of 'available hours' listed on the reservation page will be different. The conversion rates are listed on pricing page and on lab credit account management page, the latter also shows how many hours you have available on each server type. It is possible to transfer units from one credit account to another, provided that you are an owner of the source account and you are allowed to use the target account. You can access this transfer page from the bottom of "My Lab Credit Accounts" page or directly here.

There are two types of Lab Credit Accounts: "hours" and "membership". The first type, "hours", allows users to reserve workstations for as many hours as available on the account. The second type, "membership" allows users to use continuously the types of machines that belong to the given membership type with some limits, like maximum total amount of hours reserved and maximum single reservation length. The limits are 'rolling' which means that they have to be met an any given time, but get updated over time. For example if you make the maximum length reservation with a "membership" account now, you will be able to extend it by one day tomorrow at the same time.  See our pricing page for more details about available membership accounts.

Each new research group may request an exploratory Lab credit account with free 100 Compute Units, please contact us by e-mail at cbsu@cornell.edu for more details. This is one time credit for a new PI only, not for each new project.

In exceptional circumstances Bioinformatics Facility Advisory Board may grant free Lab Compute Units, application for free hours must include disclosure of the group financial standing (including justification why the group cannot afford Lab fees) as well as the research/educational project description. The application should be send to jp86@cornell.edu.

 

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