Illinois Campus Cluster User Documentation


High-performance computers have become essential to research in many disciplines across the Illinois campus, from astronomy to biology to chemistry on through the alphabet to zoology. The Illinois Campus Cluster is a campuswide resource that meets this need for research computing cycles.

Individuals, groups, and campus units can invest in compute and storage resources on the cluster, which is housed at the Advanced Computation Building, a facility specially designed to support high-performance computing systems. Those who invest in compute resources on the cluster have guaranteed access to the number and type of nodes in which they are invested. When an owner is not using their share, any other user may take advantage of the surplus. In this way, researchers get more computing capacity for their money than they would by building many separate systems across campus. Pooling computer resources also helps researchers control expenses and reduce overhead, shorten startup time, avoid space renovation, free up space formerly used for separate cluster resources, and reduce the campus carbon footprint.

Campus researchers are also able to purchase compute time on demand or storage space by the terabyte/month. These options are ideal for those whose projects are more sporadic or have a shorter duration.

Getting Started with High-Performance Computing

There are no specific prerequisite courses or high-performance computing (HPC) experience required before using Illinois Campus Cluster. However, if you are unfamiliar with using an HPC cluster, it is highly recommended that you take NCSA’s short tutorial Getting Started on the Illinois Campus Cluster before continuing.

You can also browse other recommended training resources for Campus Cluster users to learn more about other HPC topics.

In addition to the NCSA training materials, there are also recommended trainings available through ACCESS and the Linux Foundation: