Getting an Allocation on Frontera
NSF Petascale Computing Resource Allocation Program

All activities of the Frontera project support the overriding project goal of serving "as a national resource for providing predictable and sustained long-term leadership computing capabilities for science and engineering to push the frontiers of knowledge...". In the context of Frontera, we believe this means enabling computation-based scientific discovery, with a particular focus on "big science." At least 80% of the capacity of Frontera, or about 55 million node hours, will be made available for to scientists and engineers around the country using NSF's Petascale Computing Resource Allocation (PRAC) program.

In general, proposers must show compelling science or engineering challenges that require multi-petascale computing resources, and they must be prepared to demonstrate that they can effectively exploit the multi-petascale computing capabilities offered by Frontera. Proposals from or including junior researchers are encouraged, as one of the goals of this solicitation is to build a community capable of using petascale computing. The Frontera team will offer consulting support and assistance to each project team that is granted access through this solicitation.

A description of the most recent call for allocations can be found here, as a guide to researchers considering future proposals.

Pathways for Computational Growth

For many users, making the transition from more general-use resources, such as Stampede 2, to a system that emphasizes large-scale computing can be difficult. It is here that latent scaling bugs (such as race conditions, hard coded array bounds, and so on) are often encountered for the first time. Frontera's future allocation options will include "Pathways" allocations for projects that believe they are ready to begin scaling up, but have not yet fully tested their applications at scale. When instituted, we expect that Pathways allocations would typically be around 15% of system capacity.

Check back here, and watch "user news" on Frontera, for more information as it becomes available.

Emerging Critical Needs

The remaining 5% of Frontera's resources are reserved for allocation by TACC's executive director to address areas of urgent national need (i.e. response to national disasters) and industry projects.