SERVICE RISK: The Bessemer HPC cluster will be at risk from 9am on July 15th until 5pm on July 19th 2024

For further detail, please click this link.


The ShARC HPC cluster was decommissioned on the 30th of November 2023 at 17:00. It is no longer possible for users to access that cluster.

Big memory nodes (Computer Science)

The Department of Computer Science (DCS) have purchased 8 nodes in ShARC that each have much more than the standard amount of RAM per node.


Three nodes (sharc-node121 to sharc-node123) each have:


2x Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3 processors (2.40 GHz, 8 cores per socket i.e. 16 total)


768 GB RAM (48 GB / CPU core)

NUMA nodes



100 Gbps Omni-Path

Local storage

1.5 TB under /scratch (HDD)

Five nodes (sharc-node173 to sharc-node177) each have:


2x Intel Xeon Gold 6138 processors (2.00GHz, 20 cores per socket i.e. 40 total)


768 GB RAM (19.2 GB / CPU core)

NUMA nodes



100 Gbps Omni-Path

Local storage


Requesting Access

Access to the node is managed by the RSE team. Access policy:

  • PhD students, researchers and staff in Computer Science can all request access to the nodes.

  • Access to others who are collaborating on projects with some Computer Science / RSE involvement can be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • Access to Computer Science MSc and BSc students can be made on a case-by-case basis.

A number of other users were granted access before this policy was developed.

To request access complete this Google Form and someone within the RSE team will then respond with further information.

To use the nodes you must:

  1. Be made a member of one of the dcs-res dcs-collab Grid Engine (scheduler) Access Control Lists (ACL i.e. user groups);

  2. Submit jobs using the rse Grid Engine Project;

  3. Start interactive jobs in rse-interactive.q Grid Engine Cluster Queue;

  4. Start batch jobs in the rse.q Grid Engine Cluster Queue;

Running an interactive session

Once you have obtained permission to use the nodes you can request an interactive session on one of the nodes using:

qrshx -P rse -q rse-interactive.q

Here -P rse specifies that you want to use the rse project for your session, which gives you access to these big memory nodes and ensures that your interactive session can run in the rse-interactive.q job queue (as can be seen if you subsequently run qstat -u $USER from within your session).

The rse-interactive.q job queue has a maximum job runtime (h_rt) of four hours, as is standard for interactive jobs on SHARC.

Submitting batch jobs

Jobs can be submitted to the nodes by adding the -P rse and -q rse.q parameters. For example, create a job script named with the contents:

#$ -P rse
#$ -q rse.q

echo "Hello world"

You can of course add more options to the script such as a request for additional RAM (e.g. $# -l rmem=10G).

Run your script with the qsub command:


You can use the qstat command to check the status of your current job. An output file is created in your home directory that captures your script’s outputs.

See Batch Jobs for more information on job submission and the Sun Grid Engine scheduler.