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Getting an Account

Summary

The Savio cluster is open to all UC Berkeley PIs who need access to high performance computing. Multi-institutional research collaborations involving at least one UC Berkeley PI are also welcome. PIs can then designate researchers (including those not affiliated with UC Berkeley) working on the project to be users on Savio. Instructors of record can get access to Savio for their course through an Instructional Computing Allowance. Savio users are associated with one or more projects under which they do their computations. Projects include Faculty Computing Allowances, Condos, Instructional Computing Allowances, and other specialized projects.

Each individual user must be associated with at least one project. If a project exists, you can request access to the project. If you don't yet have a user account, one will be created for you when your access is granted. If you already have an account, your request will be associated with your existing account.

Setting Up a Savio Project for Research or a Course

Please note that we have now replaced the Google forms that were previously used for BRC project requests with the MyBRC User Portal.

There are three primary ways for a PI or course instructor to set up a Savio project that allows the PI and their collaborators or students to obtain access to Savio for research or course:

  1. Requesting a block of no-cost computing time via a Faculty Computing Allowance (FCA). This option is currently offered to UC Berkeley faculty, who can then share their Allowance amongst their postdocs, grad students, staff researchers, and other campus research affiliates. See below for more on eligibility. For details, please see Faculty Computing Allowance. To request an FCA, please visit the MyBRC User Portal in your web browser. After following the on-screen instructions in the portal and registering and/or logging in to the portal, first review and sign the cluster user User Access Agreement Form on the Home ("Welcome") page (if you haven't already done so from within the portal previously) by clicking on the "Review" button, and then click on the "Create" button to request the creation of an FCA project on the same Home ("Welcome") page. The PI may also ask another person to set up an FCA project on their behalf.
  2. Purchasing and contributing Condo nodes to the cluster. This option is open to any campus PI, and provides ongoing, priority access to you and your research affiliates who are members of the Condo. For details, please see Condo Cluster Service.
  3. Requesting an Instructional Computing Allowance (ICA), which provides a block of no-cost computing time for an instructor and students in a course. For details, including the use of the MyBRC User Portal to request and manage a new ICA, please see Instructional Computing Allowance. To request the renewal of an existing ICA, please fill out the ICA request form.

If you'd like to further discuss any of these options in more detail, or if you have any other questions, you're invited to contact us at brc-hpc-help@berkeley.edu.

This training video also provides an overview of your options for accessing Savio:

Getting a User Account

In order to have a Savio account, you must have access to at least one project. Once you are given access to a project, if you do not yet have a user account, one will be created for you.

Once a new BRC user account has been set up, the new user will receive an email shortly thereafter confirming this and pointing them to instructions on how they can access their new BRC user account, also described below.

Getting Access to a Project

Please note that we have now replaced the Google forms that were previously used for BRC project access requests with the MyBRC User Portal. The portal is accessible to non-Berkeley researchers, thereby allowing outside collaborators to get access to Savio for work on the project of a Berkeley PI.

Researchers who want to request access to a project can do so by visiting the MyBRC User Portal in their web browser. After following the on-screen instructions in the portal and registering and/or logging in, they should first review and sign the cluster User Access Agreement Form on the Home ("Welcome") page (if they haven't already done so from within the portal previously) by clicking on the "Review" button, and then clicking on the "Join" button to request to join an existing project. All project access requests require the approval of the PI for the relevant project on the cluster, and users should check with the project PI before requesting access to a project.

A PI with a MyBRC portal account can add a user (who must first have a MyBRC portal account) to their project(s) by selecting “Project” in the top menu bar of the MyBRC User Portal after logging in and navigating to the “My BRC Cluster Projects” page. Once there, the PI can select the ID number of the project they would like to add the user to, and then click the “Add Users” button under “Manage Project” within the corresponding project page that opens up.

If a researcher does not already have a BRC user account, one will be created for them when they are given access to the project.

Accessing User Accounts

Please see the Logging In page for details regarding access to BRC user accounts. For security reasons, all access is via One-Time Passwords (OTPs), to reduce the risk of a compromise from stolen user credentials.

New users should note that there will be a processing wait time of a few days or so between the time they join their first project via the MyBRC User Portal and the time they receive the confirmation email pointing them to instructions on how they can access their new BRC user account. Users should not attempt to follow any of these instructions (e.g., linking their personal account to their BRC HPC Cluster account, installing and setting up Google Authenticator, setting up their one-time password, etc., and logging into the BRC Cluster) before they have received the confirmation email. Users can also determine the status of their requests to join projects (FCAs, Condo projects, Vector projects, etc.) and their project access on the cluster via the MyBRC User Portal as well.

Closing User Accounts

The PI for the project is ultimately responsible for notifying Berkeley Research Computing when a user's access to a project should be terminated. If a user does not have access to any other projects, their user account will be closed. In that case, the PI can specify the disposition of a user's software, files, and data.

For ICAs, all student accounts are closed and files are deleted at the end of the semester when the ICA expires, unless the student accounts are also associated with an FCA or condo.

For FCAs and condos, users’ accounts are not automatically deactivated upon termination of an employee because many people change their employment status, but remain engaged with a research project. In addition, in some cases users share software and data from their home directory, and other users may depend on these files.