Getting Started

How do I obtain a High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) account?

HPCC accounts are free for all MSU researchers. To obtain an account, Principal Investigators (PIs) must complete a New Account Request form indicating their research focus. After getting an account, PIs can then request accounts for collaborators (students, post-docs, and off-campus colleagues). Information required to complete the form includes:  

  • a list of the names and MSU NetIDs of collaborators (students, post-docs, visiting scholars and off-campus colleagues) requiring accounts. For collaborators without an MSU NetID, the PI can sponsor MSU NetIDs by contacting the MSU ID Office via email or phone at or 517-355-4500 
  • a statement on whether or not export controlled software or data will be used  
  • a project abstract (several paragraphs) 

All MSU Net IDs used to access the HPCC must be associated with a valid email address. If your NetID is in the form of a FPID, it doesn't have to be an MSU email address but one that we can use to reach out to you.

If you are not an MSU PI, but you are collaborating with one, that faculty member can request an account on your behalf. 

By applying for an account, the PI agrees that all members of the research group will abide by the Statement of Acceptable Use


What do I get with an HPCC account?

In addition to job submission, up to 1TB of persistent storage and 50TB of temporary high performance SCRATCH storage on the HPCC are available free to all MSU researchers. Faculty members may also request a Research Space, which is provisioned with up to 1TB of persistent storage and accessible by all members of the faculty member's group. Users can gain access to priority job submission queues by purchasing system hardware though our buy-in program via research grants or equivalent funding. This is the recommended route for users with large run time or other specialized requirements. Additional storage in home or research directories may be purchased here.


How do I access HPCC?

The cluster is primarily accessed by means of the Secure Shell (SSH) network protocol. An SSH connection can be opened to from a terminal prompt (Mac/Linux) or a program like MobaXterm (Windows). See User Documentation for more details.


How is usage recorded on HPCC systems?

HPCC does not monitor usage by projects and individuals, regardless of whether the usage is free or priority. 


Which HPCC system should I use?

The HPCC maintains three clusters, along with additional testing nodes. We feature a single queue system where a user only has to specify job requirements. The scheduler assigns the job to an appropriate cluster. See User Documentation for more information about queuing policies.


What do I do next?

Once you've received an email confirming your account has been created, you should read the User Documentation to find out how to use the systems. All new users are also encouraged to sign up for Workshops & Seminars thorugh iCER, which cover a wide variety of topics relevant to research computing.