CARC implements new resource and allocation management system

By Mariah Rosales

article-image-w-caption.pngThe Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC) is embarking on a transformative journey to boost its research capabilities with the adoption of ColdFront, an open-source resource and allocation management system. This advanced platform is specifically designed to streamline administrative processes and facilitate the measurement of scientific impact for cyberinfrastructure resources. ColdFront serves as a centralized portal for high-performance computing (HPC) centers, significantly improving resource access management for numerous users within the university.

ColdFront introduces a range of features that elevate research management and empower Principal Investigators (PIs) and HPC system administrators. Notably, its allocation-based system efficiently manages access to critical research resources, including clusters, cloud resources, servers, storage, and software licenses. Additionally, ColdFront seamlessly integrates with third-party systems, enabling automation, access control, and other essential system provisioning tasks. ColdFront provides PIs and administrators with the ability to allocate and manage resources with enhanced efficiency, enabling the university's research efforts to reach their full potential.

With the introduction of ColdFront's self-service portal, PIs now have a seamless process to request resource allocations tailored to their research group's specific requirements. This eliminates the need for reliance on system administrators for basic tasks such as user access management to allocated resources. PIs can independently oversee these operations, ensuring swift and efficient resource allocation. Moreover, ColdFront empowers PIs to designate selected users as "managers," granting them the authority to handle responsibilities such as requesting and renewing resource allocations, as well as managing user access. The system's comprehensive monitoring integration also enables PIs to track resource utilization, storage statistics, and other computational metrics. ColdFront also simplifies the submission of comprehensive reports on grants, publications, and other essential data, which are periodically reviewed by the center director to validate the necessity of allocated resources.

ColdFront doesn't solely benefit PIs; it also streamlines workflows for HPC system administrators. The user-friendly suite of tools provided by ColdFront simplifies resource allocation management. It allows administrators to review project requests, define expiration dates and review other services such as storage allowance and associate key attributes to them. This ensures efficient access control automation and facilitates the seamless integration of job scheduler account management. By leveraging ColdFront's capabilities, administrators can optimize resource allocation processes and enhance overall efficiency.

The integration of ColdFront into CARC’s research ecosystem represents a significant milestone in advancing the institution's scientific endeavors. This cutting-edge system fosters seamless communication between PIs and administrators, reducing dependency and promoting collaboration. ColdFront addresses the challenges faced by the university in managing research resources, promising increased productivity and effectiveness.

The adoption of ColdFront by CARC underscores its commitment to foster groundbreaking research and empower the scientific community. By streamlining administrative processes and enhancing resource management, ColdFront serves as a catalyst for progress and innovation. The extensive range of features provided by this open-source resource and allocation management system benefits both PIs and administrators, propelling the university’s research capabilities to unprecedented heights.