About High Performance Computing

The University provides a powerful High Performance Computing (HPC) Services based on Linux for modelling, simulation, data processing and analysis. These systems are available both on and off-campus. They can be used by anyone who needs a Linux environment or processing power beyond that available on a desktop PC.


ALICE architecture overviewALICE provides researchers across the University with a vital resource for modelling, simulation, data processing and analysis.

ALICE is optimised for providing maximum performance for the most demanding data processing, data analysis and simulation tasks. Processes on this system are mostly run as batch jobs.  Typically, a batch job contains one large process running for many hours or days. Alternatively a batch job could contain many short processes running simultaneously.

ALICE is only available to users who have registered as part of a HPC project. The ALICE login nodes permit registered users to log in and submit and control there jobs via a command line interface (ssh or putty).

See the ALICE help pages for more information on registering on and using ALICE.


SPECTRE provides a powerful Linux remote desktop service to all university staff and students. Students’ use of SPECTRE is usually supported by their department. SPECTRE users are able to submit batch jobs to run on the ALICE compute nodes, however their jobs will receive lower priority and the resources they can use are restricted.

SPECTRE users who are also registered with an ALICE research project can access all parts of ALICE and submit and manage jobs from the SPECTRE login nodes.

Many researchers use both ALICE and SPECTRE, with SPECTRE providing an interactive capability for pre/post processing of data.

See the SPECTRE help pages for more information.

If you are not sure which service to use, or whether either of them will be useful to you, contact the IT Service Desk for help.



Training materials and courses are available to help you use the High Performance Computing services.

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