HPC Access

HPC.NRW offers scientists access to HPC resources to carry out their complex research projects. The HPC resources in Germany are arranged hierarchically in the so-called HPC pyramid. 


Scientists of German teaching and research institutions should, if available and suitable, use their local resources in the Tier-3 centers.

If you need less than a certain amount of resources per year, it is not necessary to submit a full request for computing time in most HPC centers, because you can use your personal standard quota (e.g. fair share). However, only members of the respective university are usually eligible to use these.


If you need more resources than your center can provide, if you do not have a local HPC center, or if you identify special needs (e.g., larger memory, more cores/CPUs, GPUs), you can contact another HPC center or request computing time at a higher tier (e.g., Tier-2/Tier-1). In this context, we place special emphasis on ensuring the basic supply for sites without Tier-3 capacity and the Fachhochschulen. Here, the Tier-2 centers offer uniform, structured access for HPC users at all universities in NRW.  In HPC.NRW, this is possible in Aachen, Cologne and Paderborn. Likewise, especially the needs of smaller computing projects with a start on short notice as well as teaching are supported by corresponding project classes. We also offer consulting services for locations without HPC centers.


In order to ensure the permeability of the different tiers (especially between Tier-3 and Tier-2) HPC.NRW will gladly support you. This includes support in proving the scalability of the application. A first starting point for this is our contribution in the HPC Wiki. These measures promote a successful application according to the requirements of the DFG and the above mentioned common criteria.

Only very experienced users with well-scaling codes and high computational time requirements should apply for large-scale projects at Tier 1/Tier 0 level. Scientists from abroad must apply for computing time through PRACE, a partnership that grants access to world-class HPC systems across Europe. 

For more information on the available infrastructure and how to apply, please visit our websites. 

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