2.1.4 Software Policy

ARCC Policies for High Performance Computing - Software Policy




Software Acquisition, Installation, and Support (AIS) Policy


This document defines the ARCC's software policy regarding software acquisition, installation, and support. ARCC will help UW users through:

  • Consultations on software capabilities and acquisition expertise

  • Guidance with respect to software installation and deployment, and secured/controlled access

  • Support with respect to the efficient and effective functioning of software (where not provided by software vendor)

  • Software updates to maintain currency with the vendors and ARCC systems

General software usage, functionality, and application questions should be addressed by the research computing community. To support the community support model, ARCC will make available a community-driven Known Error Database in the form of a Wiki with discussion board features.

The ARCC will review the software policy annually during the Change Advisory Board meeting with input from the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) members.

Software Requests

The ARCC will maintain a list of currently supported software for each HPC system that ARCC supports. Supported software is evaluated biannually. The ARCC reserves the right to discontinue support for underutilized software. Software proposed for discontinued support will be placed in a "deprecated" section of the software modules interface. Movement of applications to a deprecated status will happen twice per year during system upgrades. Faculty can submit a request for continued software support of deprecated applications using the ARCC Resource Request Form.

New software requests must be initiated by a faculty member via the ARCC Resource Request Form. The information on this form (e.g. estimates on the number of users, software and licensing details, software cost, and the timeline for installation) will be utilized to determine the degree of support provided by the ARCC.

Software Acquisition

Financial Support

Whenever possible, researchers are encouraged to use open-source software. The costs for discipline-specific, proprietary software will typically be born by the PIs requesting the software. A small number of one-time 'seed funding' opportunities may be made with input from the FAC. Financial support for the software is dependent on the user base, as follows:

  • Single PI or department: The license for the software is purchased by the user and his/her department. ARCC will handle acquisition, installation, and support on ARCC resources.

  • Multiple PIs or departments in a single College: The license for the software is purchased by the college. ARCC will handle acquisition, installation, and support on ARCC resources.

  • Broad Use (Multiple Colleges): If the software (e.g. MatLab or Mathematica) serves both significant academic and research uses, then funding by will be reviewed by UW-IT. If the software serves significant research uses only; then the ARCC will review funding. ARCC will handle acquisition, installation, and support on ARCC resources.

Technical Support

ARCC staff will provide support in the identification of efficient and cost-effective software packages to meet the research objectives of faculty members. Where suitable the ARCC will coordinate software acquisitions of faculty with similar objectives to better leverage research investment.

Software Installation

Licensing Support

The ARCC, with the help of UW-IT and UW General Council, will help provide guidance on research software licensing and suitable installation/controlled access.

Technical Support

ARCC staff will provide software installation services for software to be run on ARCC resources. Department IT consultants will help with the installation of software on researchers' workstations. The ARCC will also provide centralized license server services for software on ARCC resources when needed.

Software Support

  • Staff will provide software support with respect to efficient and effective software functions (where not provided by the software vendor). The ARCC will also oversee and implement software updates to maintain currency with both the software vendor and ARCC resources.

  • Debuggers will be provided as part of the Moran software suite.

  • ARCC will endeavor to facilitate code development.