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Policies and Expectations for Using CHTC

This page lists important policies and expectations for using CHTC computing and data services. Our goal is to support a community of users and a variety of research. If an individual user is taking action that negatively impacts our services, we reserve the right to deactivate their account or remove files without notice.

Access and Use

Use of CHTC services are free to use in support of UW - Madison’s research and teaching mission.

Accounts are linked to individuals and should NOT be shared. We are happy to make new accounts for individuals or group-owned spaces for sharing files. Accounts that we notice being shared will be immediately disabled and a meeting with the PI (faculty advisor) may be necessary to reinstate the account.

For more information on the process for obtaining an account, see our How to Request an Account guide.

Data Policies

CHTC data locations are not backed up, and users should treat CHTC compute systems as temporary storage locations for active, currently-queued computational work. Users should remove data from CHTC systems upon completion of a batch of computational work and keep copies of all essential files in a non-CHTC location. CHTC staff reserve the right to delete data from any CHTC data location at at any time, to preserve systems performance, and are not responsible for data loss or file system corruption, which are possible in the absence of back-ups.

CHTC is not HIPAA-compliant and users should not bring HIPAA data into CHTC services. If you have data security concerns or any questions about data security in CHTC, please get in touch!

To request a change in the quotas for a storage location, please see our Request a Quota Change guide.

Export Control

Users agree not to access, utilize, store, or in any way run export controlled data, information, programs, etc. on CHTC software, equipment, or computing resources without prior review by the UW-Madison Export Control Office.

Export controlled information is subject to federal government rules on handling and viewing and has restrictions on who and where it may be accessed. A license can be required for access by foreign persons and in foreign jurisdictions so it’s important to ensure that all legal requirements are followed. If you have export controlled information that you would like to use on the CHTC, or you are unsure if the information you have is export controlled, please contact the Export Control Office at for guidance.

Note: The CHTC is not compliant with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) requirements.

User Expectations

Because our systems are shared by many CHTC users, everyone contributes to helping the systems run smoothly. The following are some best practices to get the most out of CHTC without harming other users. Our goal is always to help you get your work done - if you think the following recommendations limit your capacity to run work, please contact us to discuss alternatives.

Never run computationally intensive tasks on the login nodes for either system. As a rule of thumb, anything that runs for more than a few seconds, or is known to use a lot of cores or memory should not be run directly, but as a job. Small scripts and commands (to compress data, create directories, etc.) that run within a few minutes on the submit server are okay, but their use should be minimized when possible. If you have questions about this, please contact the facilitation team. CHTC staff reserve the right to kill any long-running or problematic processes on the head nodes and/or disable user accounts that violate this policy

Avoid unsupervised scripts on the login nodes. Automating tasks via tools like cron, watch, or using a workflow manager (not including HTCondor’s DAGMan) on the login node is not allowed without prior discussion with the facilitation or infrastructure team.

(HTC system specific): Since use of watch with condor_q is prohibited, we recommend using condor_watch_q as an alternative for live updates on your jobs in the queue. condor_watch_q is more efficient and will not impair system performance.

Test your jobs. We recommend testing a small version of your overall workflow before submitting your full workflow. By testing a smaller version of your jobs, you can determine resource requests, runtimes, and whether you may need an increase in your user quota. Both our HTC and HPC systems use a fair shair policy and each researcher has a user priority. Submitting many jobs that fail or do not produce the unexpected output will decrease your user priority without helping you complete your research. User priorities naturally reset over time.