Flux is the first university-wide, shared computational discovery or high-performance computing (HPC) service. It is designed to support both compute- and data-intensive research.
Instead of the common practice of researchers owning the equipment, Flux uses an allocation approach that enables researchers to have faster access to HPC services. Benefits to an allocation-based system are:
- lower overall research-computing operating costs,
- improved utilization of our hardware assets, and
- decreased our energy consumption.
Flux is provided by ARC and operated by the College of Engineering’s High Performance Computing Group within CAEN. It was originally housed in the MACC, and is currently housed in the university’s new Modular Data Center (MDC). The implementation of Flux was made possible through a collaboration of university units:
- Advanced Research Computing, formerly Office of Research Cyberinfrastructure (OVPR),
- College of Engineering,
- Medical School,
- Information and Technology Services
Benefits to the Researcher
- Available when new researchers arrive on campus
- Enables researchers to adjust their computing allocation on a monthly basis (at a lower cost) to better match the demands of research
- Frees graduate students or other personnel whose primary responsibility should not be computer support, to focus their attention on more ”value-added” activities that directly support research needs
- Provides researchers with experienced full-time IT professionals as support
- Increases dollars used for discovery efforts as research funding that paid for underutilized equipment can now be targeted more directly toward research
- Makes available HPC services to those who do not own their own resources or to those who need capacity beyond what they currently own
- Offers access to a substantial software library and regularly refreshed hardware and software, keeping researchers current with evolving technology
Benefits to the University
- Minimizes idle computing capacity, which reduces energy usage, thereby reducing U-M’s carbon footprint and saving money
- Increases resources available to researchers
- Reduces the amount of space needed in data centers
- Increases the protection and security of our resources. Unlike many
stand-alone clusters that run in sub-optimal physical space, Flux is housed in the University’s Modular Data Center (MDC).