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About ARC


Advanced Research Computing (ARC) is a central resource available to any Oxford University researcher who needs high performance computing (HPC) from any Division or Department.  ARC is an IT Services facility operated in partnership with the Oxford e-Research Centre.

While we have a range of high performance computing (HPC) systems available ARC offers much more than just hardware. ARC users have access to full time support staff specialising in HPC hardware and software. Support is available to users throughout their research project.

ARC users have access to:

  • ARC compute facilities
  • User training
  • Systems Management Team
  • Scientific Computing Advisor
  • Research Facilitators to assist with funding applications

The Scientific Computing Advisor is able to advise on:

  • application installation and usage
  • development, optimization and debugging

ARC systems are particularly suitable for running applications which are parallel (or could be made parallel) and/or CPU intensive and/or use large amounts of memory.  There are also some serial applications on our systems. A list of installed software can be found on our applications page.

How do I get an account to use ARC facilities?

ARC is open to all researchers at the University of Oxford. To use the ARC you must first set up a new project and then apply for an individual user account, or join an existing project. Please note academic projects can only be requested by members of academic staff or equivalent. Further details on the Registration page.

If you are not a member of Oxford University, please see our page for External Users. (Select External from the Organisation menu.)

How is usage recorded on ARC systems?

ARC uses the GOLD accounting system to record usage by projects and individuals, regardless of whether the usage is free or priority. Please see our Accounting System page for more details on how usage of ARC systems is recorded.

Is ARC free to use?

Yes, we provide a 'free at the point of use' service to all researchers within the University of Oxford, that allows access to the basic job submission queues. Please see the Access Policy page for further details.

All new projects will be set up with an initial 25,000 CPU hours (90,000,000 credits). This is to allow you to get your software/applications set  and do some testing, benchmarking or even experimentation.

Please see our Requesting Credits page once this initial allocation has been used up for details on requesting more credits.

Access to Priority Queues / Premium Services

Users can gain access to the priority job submission queues by purchasing time on the systems via Research grant, or equivalent, funding. This is the recommended route for users with large run time, or other specialist requirements. For more information on charges please see our Requesting Credits page. 

Indicative Costs of use

Please see our Requesting Credits page for up to date charges for ARC priority services.

Which ARC system should I use?

The ARC operates a number of high performance systems which all do slightly different things. You may find that the application which you plan to use has already been installed on some of them but not others. (You can check on our Services page). Alternatively, you may have a new application but are unsure of the best system to run it on. If in doubt, please contact the ARC staff.

You can find out more about the different ARC systems in operation by visiting our Services page.

What do I do next? 

Once you've received an email confirming your account on ARC has been created, you should read our Support pages to find out how to use ARC systems. We would also encourage you to sign up to our Training courses which are on a range of subjects including an introduction to using the ARC facility.

If you have any questions at any time, please do contact us.

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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 28 August 2019