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RCC Policies

The Research Computing Center is an auxiliary unit within the Information Technology Services (ITS) department at Florida State University (FSU). Our mission is to enable research and education by maintaining a diverse campus cyber-infrastructure and by providing training opportunities and dedicated consulting.

This page describes the policies that govern the use of RCC resources. By using an RCC resource, you agree to abide by the following policies and to use RCC resources in a responsible manner. In addition to these policies you must agree to abide by all technology policies at Florida State University.


If you have any questions or remarks about this document, please contact the RCC Director.

A. General Use Policy#

  1. You understand the RCC resources are shred with other users, and your actions impact of those users. May practices that are acceptable on personal devices can have serious impacts on our systems and may affect other users.
  2. The following is a list of guidelines that you agree to follow.
  3. You must abide by all University Information Technology Policies. These include, but are not limited to:
    1. 4-OP-H-5 - FSU Information Security Policy
    2. 4-OP-H-8 - Wireless Data Communications Policy
    3. 4-OP-F-7 - Safeguarding of Confidential Financial and Personal Information
    4. 4-OP-H-10 - Information technology Disaster Recovery and Data Backup Policy
    5. 4-OP-H-11 - Network Access and Use Policy
    6. 4-OP-H-12 - Information Privacy Policy
  4. You are responsible for the proper use of all tools that the RC provides and for the confidentiality of any and all sensitive information entrusted to you.
  5. You will not attempt to subvert or circumvent any system that allocates resources.
  6. RCC resource are provided by the University for research and educational use only. Commercial, administrative, or non-University related use of RCC prohibited unless explicitly agreed upon with the RCC Director.

B. Account Policy#

  1. RCC grants each person a unique user account on our systems. This account is managed by the RCC and is separate from other accounts, such as your FSUID.
  2. You must have an active FSUID account before you can request an RCC User account.
  3. Guest users who are not affiliated with the FSU must apply for a Sponsored Guest FSUID account.
  4. Each RCC user account may be used only by the person who registered for the account.
  5. Each RCC user account holder is responsible for keeping his or her login credentials secret. This includes, but is not limited to, passwords, certificates, and private SSH keys.
  6. Users are not permitted to share user account credentials with anyone under any circumstance.
  7. RCC systems provide many mechanisms for sharing data and compute resources with collaborators without the necessity of user account sharing.
  8. The RCC provides two types of user accounts: faculty user accounts and sponsored user accounts.
  9. If you do not have a faculty affiliation with FSU, you may register for a sponsored user account. This type of account requires that you select a faculty sponsor during user account creation.
  10. Faculty user accounts
    1. Any person affiliated with FSU in a currently employed faculty position is eligible to apply for a faculty user account.
    2. Faculty user account holders are eligible to sponsor user accounts for students, staff, or outside collaborators.
    3. A faculty user account holder who wishes to sponsor another user account must provide explicit approval for any non-faculty person.
    4. A faculty user account holder must affirm approval for accounts that he or she sponsors on a periodic basis.
    5. Upon separation from FSU, a faculty user account will be converted into a non-faculty user account. Subsequently, the user account holder and any accounts sponsored by this faculty user must find and be approved by a new sponsor in order to continue using RCC resources.
  11. Sponsored (non-faculty) user accounts
    1. Any person can apply for an RCC sponsored user account. This includes all FSU students, staff, as well as collaborators from other institutions not otherwise affiliated with FSU. A faculty sponsor must be selected upon registration.
    2. RCC voids all user account requests that have not been approved by faculty sponsors after 14 days. After this, the person requesting the sponsored account must resubmit the sponsorship request.
    3. A sponsored user account holder may request a change in sponsorship at any time. The new sponsor must approve the request within 14 days.
    4. Upon separation from FSU, no change occurs to the sponsored user account status.
    5. A sponsored user account holder's sponsor may revoke approval for the sponsored account at any time. If this happens, the sponsored account holder must select a new sponsor in order to continue using RCC resources.
    6. Sponsors must affirm approval for all sponsored user accounts at least once annually. If a sponsor has not affirmed for a user account within this time period, RCC will revoke approval. In such case, the sponsored user account holder must either obtain re-approval from the current sponsor or select a new sponsor in order to continue using RCC resources.
  12. Non-system faculty user accounts
  13. FSU faculty members who do not wish to use RCC system resources but need to sponsor other user accounts can indicate that they would like a non-system account during registration.
  14. Non-system accounts do not have access to any RCC system resources.
  15. A non-system account holder can request system access at any time.
  16. Upon separation from FSU, a faculty user account will be converted into a non-faculty user account. Subsequently, the user account holder and any accounts sponsored by this faculty user must find and be approved by a new sponsor in order to continue using RCC resources.
  17. Password and secret credential policies
  18. Your RCC User account password must meet minimum complexity requirements. RCC uses an entropy score to determine how complex your user account is.
  19. RCC staff reserve the right to require you to change your system account password at any time.
    1. If RCC staff determines that a password reset is warranted for security purposes, RCC will lock your account until you change your password.

C. High Performance Computing Policy#

  1. The High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster is a shared resource, and you must consider other users when using the system.
  2. The HPC cluster is divided up into node pools that are accessible through the job scheduler via a queuing system (Slurm).
  3. Any person with an RCC user account may submit jobs to the general access compute nodes in the cluster. This is a courtesy resource provided to all user account holders by the RCC. These resources are listed on the RCC website.
  4. People and research groups that have purchased Normalized Compute Units (NCUs) will have priority access to the purchased number of cores via a dedicated Slurm account.
  5. The following is a list of general rules that you agree to follow:
  6. You will execute all long-running interactive or non-interactive jobs using the job scheduler (Slurm).
    1. You may not run any long-running or compute-intensive jobs on the login nodes.
    2. RCC staff reserve the right to kill any process on login nodes that is judged to be using excessive resources.
  7. You will allocate parallel jobs within the resources (processors and RAM) that you have requested or reserved via the job scheduler (Slurm).
  8. You will not over-allocate resources for any job that you submit.
  9. You will execute software in a responsible way by not running highly experimental code that may compromise the usability or integrity of RCC resources. These include, but are not limited to, the login nodes, the network fabric, compute nodes, and the shared storage system.
  10. The objectives of the job scheduler (Slurm) are as follows:
  11. Provide predictable, responsive, and flexible means for a person or members of a research group to access compute resources (CPU, memory, disk) that have been purchased under a lease agreement.
  12. Provide fair and equitable access to the general access computer processors and idle owner-based processors in order to maximize the cluster availability to the FSU research community.

D. Shared storage policy#

  1. The RCC provides several shared storage resources. RCC cannot guarantee complete security of data stored on any RCC storage media.
  2. No systems shall be used for any data classified by FSU as "protected" or "private".
  3. While RCC staff strive to ensure that data on RCC systems is secure and confidential, neither the RCC nor Florida State University shall be held liable for any breach of security resulting in the compromise of sensitive or confidential data stored on any RCC storage system.
  4. It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure proper measures have been to taken to de-classify and/or protect his or her data.
  5. Data stored on RCC resources may be subject to the FSU Policy on Record Management; including, but no limited to OP-F-3 - Records Management.
  6. It is up to the user to classify the type of data that is being stored and what retention and maintenance policy should apply.
  7. RCC staff reserve the right to remove any data from our system that is deemed inappropriate, illegal, or obsolete.
  8. RCC does not provide any mechanism for backing up data on our storage system.
  9. RCC staff will assist users with backing data up to outside storage resources if users wish to do so.
  10. RCC will allocate each user account a home directory on our parallel storage system.
  11. RCC staff will purge data from a home directory no sooner than three months after a user account has expired.
  12. RCC may provide scratch space on some storage resources. This space will be available for any RCC user account holder to write to in order to temporarily store data. However, this data is subject to deletion at any time.
  13. Due to FERPA regulations, RCC staff are not authorized to copy data from personal home directories on our storage system without explicit, documented permission from the home directory owner.

E. Violations and Enforcement#

  1. RCC staff may take the following actions if we identify any abuse or willful neglect to follow the policies described in this document:
  2. RCC staff may suspend or delete compute jobs in violation of these policies;
  3. RCC staff may delete any data in violation of these policies; and/or,
  4. RCC staff may disable any user account in violation of these policies subject to approval from the RCC Director.
  5. The RCC Director reserves the right to temporarily or permanently bar access to any all RCC resources.
  6. In such cases, the RCC Director (or delegate) will communicate any disciplinary action with the user account holder and, if applicable, the sponsor of the user account holder.
  7. The user account holder has the right to submit an appeal concerning the enforcement of any policy described in this document to the RCC Director.
    1. If the RCC Director and the user account holder cannot identify a mutually agreeable resolution, then the user account holder may appeal in writing to the RCC Advisory Panel chair.
    2. The RCC Advisory Panel Chair will bring appeals to the members of the Advisory Panel for discussion and resolution.
    3. All RCC Advisory Panel decisions are final.

F. Support Policy#

  1. RCC staff will make a reasonable effort to ensure that systems and services remain available at all times.
  2. RCC staff will periodically plan downtime for system maintenance. In these cases, RCC staff will make efforts to notify all users as far in advance as possible.
  3. RCC Staff will resolve service failures in a reasonable time frame during regular operating hours.
  4. RCC staff will provide support for services during regular operating hours.
  5. Regular operating hours are defined as Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, excepting University holidays.
  6. RCC staff will respond to support requests within one business week of request submission.

Last update: June 15, 2022