General Purpose Cluster (GPC)

  • Faculty & Staff

As computational methods of research become more important throughout a wide range of academic disciplines, many researchers in departments across the School of Arts and Sciences find that they need more computing power than a desktop can provide. The SAS GPC, or General Purpose Cluster, is designed to meet those needs. The GPC is a high performance computing (HPC) cluster, providing access to HPC for all faculty.

Researchers often find that jobs that take a few hours or longer on a desktop can be completed in as little as 15 minutes on the GPC. The computational power of the GPC also allows them to expand the reach of their research where it had previously been limited by the capability of their desktop. The GPC can be used for highly parallel computing; simulations; molecular modeling; Matlab calculations; and more. The available software is on our software page, and we welcome suggestions for additions.

The GPC is built on a hybrid model that uses a cluster of eight powerful compute nodes (four general-purpose nodes, and four high memory, large scratch space nodes) on campus and also leverages the almost unlimited resources of the cloud (specifically, Amazon Web Services) for additional computing power on demand.  Each faculty member will be provided with an allocation of compute time for their use each academic year. Faculty who want to tackle more or bigger problems can provide a budget code to gain access to more compute resources, including cloud resources. 

Faculty are invited to use the GPC whether they are experienced HPC users or just want to explore a new avenue of research that involves computation. SAS Computing offers consultations to help faculty members bring their work to the GPC. Graduate students and postdocs can use the GPC with the sponsorship of a full-time faculty member. To get started, or if you just want to ask questions, please send email to .