[Bioclusters] Chargeback(s) for cluster use?

Andrew D. Fant fant at pobox.com
Wed Jan 5 14:30:52 EST 2005

Kent Brodie wrote:
> Greetings - New Bioinformatics forum user here.   I expect to be an active
> participant :-)
> I've been asked to look into other organizations that have a 'bioinformatics
> cluster' similar to ours, and to find out if any of you have any sort of
> "chargeback" scheme in place for users?  (By users, that could be other
> departments within your organization, or even outside entities?).

     Welcome to the list.  My best advice about chargeback is to avoid 
it if you can.  I've seen a couple of good sites killed by a move from 
funny-money allocations to hard currency chargeback.  Even if people are 
willing and able to pay hard currency per cycle/byte/block for the 
resource, you very quickly run to a point where it's almost a full-time 
bookkeeping job just tracking all the costs of running the service and 
apportioning them appropriately.

The ideal way to fund shared resource bioinformatics clusters is, of 
course, to be funded as an overhead shared resource.8-).  Failing that, 
my approach would be to go to the groups/departments that would 
utilizing the resource and ask them to pony up a share of the costs on 
an regular basis, and use a fairshare scheduler on the cluster to make 
sure that the groups get cycles in proportion to their support.   If 
your user communities trust each other, a simple model of paying up 
something for access is also easier, but be sure you don't get into the 
position of being personally expected to arbite disputes between users 
about resource hogging.

Hope This Helps,

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