The Advanced Research Computing (ARC) service provides access to High Performance Computing (HPC) resources, support, and advice to researchers within the University of Oxford.
At the core of the ARC service are our HPC compute clusters and high-performance data storage systems. The compute cluster provides a large number of CPU and GPU based compute nodes as well as other specialised resources such as high memory (3 TB) nodes for manipulating and working with large data sets and outputs. These resources support a breadth or research at the University including computational fluid dynamics, bioinformatics, and machine learning/AI to name a few application areas. The majority of ARC's resources are connected via a high bandwidth, low latency interconnect (InfiniBand) to facilitate fast and efficient inter-processor communication across the system, as well as provide high bandwidth connectivity to storage. Data storage systems connect to these clusters, and provide both fast (scratch) storage for the fast, low latency parallel storage demanded by modern HPC applications, and bulk storage for facilitating user home directories and project data storage.
The benefits of using cluster systems for computational research are substantial, and the use of the ARC services is free at the point of use for all researchers at the University of Oxford. As well as acting as being an important tool for conducting research locally, the ARC system should also be seen as one tier in a pyramid of resources allowing users to scale-up locally prior to applying to external funders for access to national and international HPC resources such as JADE, ARCHER and PRACE systems. For more information on accessing and using the ARC service please see our access policy for more details.
As noted above, ARC supports a very diverse range of research, and welcomes users from all disciplines and divisions within the University. As such as well as supporting cluster services, the ARC team also works with researchers to install, test, and update user application codes at their request. In addition to user requests, we also have a wide range of research application software pre-installed and ready to use on the system.
In addition to hardware and software, to ensure new and current users get the best out of the ARC service, we also run a range of training courses; these are targeted at novice users as well as more advanced programmers to highlight and demonstrate the techniques and approaches required to make most efficient use of the HPC platforms available from the service..
Currently, the ARC service supports a portfolio of circa £50m of research projects and a registered user base in excess of 3,000 users.
If you would like to use the ARC services you can either join an existing ARC project or, if you are a member of university staff, you may request a new project for your research. Please see the Getting Started pages for more information.
The current ARC service status can be found on the systems status page.