UBC ARC Sockeye FAQs

FAQs updated 01 December 2020.  

How many allocations can one research group apply for?

Allocations are awarded to one UBC Faculty member or Principal Investigator (PIs), known as the Allocation Owner. The Allocation Owner can add users to the allocation, as needed, as long as they have an enhanced Campus Wide Login and an institutional email address. 

What if I need to restrict access to one of my projects?

If you need to restrict access for one project, but would like to use your allocation for more than that one project, please contact UBC ARC at arc.support@ubc.ca. Some of the reasons that you may request this are that the funder, partner, or data steward requires that the data only be accessed by a limited number of individuals. In cases where this cannot be accommodated by one allocation, two allocations may be granted to one individual.

Will my allocation in this round affect my application for allocations in future rounds?

No. Each application is assessed independently, regardless of previous allocations.

Do you provide virtual machines?

No. Virtual machines are not available at this time.

Can I get access to the Sockeye system without an allocation? (Similar to Rapid Access Service from Compute Canada)

No. Only those who are part of an allocation can become a user on UBC ARC Sockeye.

I am a Compute Canada user, can I move jobs over from Compute Canada? Are procedures for submitting and managing jobs on Sockeye similar to those on Compute Canada?

Yes, you can move jobs from Compute Canada to UBC ARC Sockeye by translating submission scripts from Slurm to PBS Pro Community Edition. Submitting and managing jobs on UBC ARC Sockeye are similar to the procedures on Compute Canada.

Are the Sockeye storage systems redundant?

Yes. The UBC ARC Sockeye storage subsystems are redundant and resilient to failures.

Is there software already available on Sockeye?

Yes. Commonly used software packages are available as “modules” on UBC ARC Sockeye. Please see the current list of modules here under "technical specifications. Please note that the list of available software on Sockeye is subject to frequent change.

Users on UBC ARC Sockeye may also install software on their own, subject to technical compatibility.

Is there a maximum wall time per job? 

Yes. The maximum wall time is currently 168 hours. Researchers can contact us to learn how their computations may work within the current limits.

What kind of user support do you provide?

We provide technical user documentation and email support for all users on the system. ARC also provides in-person consultations for applications and challenging technical support situations.

For support or to book a consultation, please contact arc.support@ubc.ca.

What happens at the end of an allocation?

Access to all computation resources ends at the same time as the allocation. Users will retain access to UBC ARC Sockeye for a maximum of 14 days to remove/copy data, but no computation will be possible during that period.  

Before the allocation period ends, a number of reminders will be sent to users. A second call will also go out in advance of the current allocation period ending. Existing users who are awarded another round of allocation will be able to continue to use the system normally as the old allocation ends and the new one begins.

When can we expect information for the next call?

Researchers may apply for a Standard Allocation at any time.  Allocations run until June 30th each year.

Calls for Priority Allocations will take place twice per year. Information about the next Priority Allocation Call for Applications will be posted on our website once available/prior to the start of the next call: https://arc.ubc.ca/ubc-arc-sockeye

Please check the UBC ARC Sockeye page for the latest updates. You can also watch for email notifications and announcements from UBC ARC.

What if my jobs on UBC ARC Sockeye are not going to be completed before an important research deadline?

Faculty members with an existing Standard or Priority Allocation may request a Reservation Allocation. 

The Reservation Allocation is available on an ad hoc basis through a consultation and accommodates short-term requirements for additional compute resources on Sockeye. To request a Reservation Allocation, please contact arc.support@ubc.ca to schedule a consultation.