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Computing to Support Research

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Above and Beyond the Desktop

The Stanford Research Computing Center (SRCC) is a joint effort of the Dean of Research and University IT to build and support a comprehensive program to advance research at Stanford. That includes offering and supporting traditional high-performance computing (HPC) systems, as well as systems for high throughput and data-intensive computing, platforms for working with high-risk data, and data storage at scale. But it's not just about the hardware. SRCC team members also help researchers transition their analyses and models from the desktop to more capable and plentiful resources, providing the opportunity to explore their data and answer research questions (on-premise or in the cloud) at a scale typically not possible on desktops or departmental servers. Often partnering with units like ICME as well as the NSF XSEDE program and select vendors, the SRCC offers training and learning opportunities around high-end computing tools and technologies. In addition, we provide consultation to help you find the best solution for the kinds of computing and analytics you want to do.

Stanford Research Computing Resources

Need access to compute resources beyond your laptop or desktop to support your sponsored or departmental research?  You may want to try out the Stanford Sherlock cluster.  

Purchased and supported with seed funding from the University, Sherlock comprises more than 1200 servers, with a small subset of those available to run researchers' computational codes and programs at no cost, with resources managed through a fair-share algorithm using SLURM as the resource manager/job scheduler.  This is a good option if you need occasional access to compute capabilities, have lots of smaller or shorter jobs, and as a way to try things out.

Faculty can also purchase additional dedicated resources to augment Sherlock by becoming Sherlock "owners" - indeed, most of the Sherlock servers were purchased by researchers.  Choosing from a standard set of server configurations supported by the SRCC staff, owners' servers are "joined" to the base Sherlock cluster.  "Owners" have access to the base cluster as before, through fair-share.  But they also have priority access to the resources they purchased, whenever they want.  When an owner's servers aren't in use, other owners can use them... but non-owners cannot.  Over the last 5 years, Sherlock has grown from 125 servers to more than 1,200.  

You can learn more about Sherlock by visiting

But what else might you use, beyond Sherlock?

We manage a variety of compute clusters for various Stanford schools, departments, and/or labs. For example, we manage a cluster/supercomputer (SCG) and large-scale storage for the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine. If you are primarily interested in bioinformatics tools, then SCG  is a great option for you. If you have high risk data (PHI or PII), then we'd love to talk with you about Nero. We can also connect you to national supercomputing resources, GCP or AWS, and beyond. Just drop us a note.

The SRCC also offers access to a small shared campus HPC resource, FarmShare. Open to anyone with a sponsored SUNet ID, FarmShare is intended to be a short-term, low-intensity computational resource for students, courses, and researchers who are just getting started with computing.  FarmShare is the resource to use for classes or instruction. See for the details on how to try it out.