Quick Start

Available to: Students, Faculty, Researchers, External Research Collaborators, Industrial Partners

Cost: See cost details, below.

The Shared Computing Cluster (SCC) is a heterogeneous Linux cluster composed of both fully-shared and buy-in compute nodes and storage options. It is suitable for most areas of research computing across many disciplines, including bioinformatics, geographic information systems (GIS), statistics, data analysis, molecular modeling, scientific and engineering simulation, and visualization.


The SCC offers a broad range of computing and storage resources and services intended to accelerate computational research across a broad range of academic disciplines. The SCC affords BU researcher access to computational resources and services without incurring additional costs for systems administration, software support, facility build-out, or power and cooling. The cluster provides computational capacity for single and multi-processor jobs, including a fast interconnect fabric; capabilities for computational bursting; and large amounts of fast, reliable storage at an attractive cost. Professional staff are available to help researchers learn how to use the SCC, provide programming assistance, and help with general trouble-shooting. The physical infrastructure is provided in a modern, controlled, and secure facility at MGHPCC. This LEED platinum data center uses hydro-electric power generation for inexpensive, renewable power with a near-zero carbon footprint for both reduced cost and lessened environmental impact.

Key Features

  • A large, heterogeneous Linux cluster suitable for a wide-range of computational research
  • A range of node, memory, and queue configurations are available to meet the varying needs of the researchers. Includes nodes with computational accelerators (GPUs)
  • Access from the campus core via multiple, dedicated 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections
  • A broad selection of programming languages, parallelizing compilers, mathematical and scientific libraries, graphics and visualization software, and discipline-specific application packages is maintained on the Cluster.
  • Fully-shared resources available at no cost to all BU researchers. Options available for attractively priced additional compute nodes and storage for individual usage through the Buy-in Program

What to Expect

The SCC normally will be available 24 by 7 except for standard change windows, as described in IS&T’s standard policies, procedures, and schedules for making changes. Additionally, the MGHPCC has annual maintenance which requires a 24 hour full outage. Since most of the MGHPCC facility is not protected with backup power, the SCC is subject to electric utility power outages.


  • Must be a member of a Research Computing Services (RCS) research project
    • BU faculty are allowed to create research projects and serve as Lead Project Investigators.
    • Lead Project Investigators may add collaborators (students, researchers outside of BU, etc.) to their research projects.


The Shared model provides a base-level of computing and storage resources to the entire University research community on a fair-share basis without charge. The Buy-in program was created for those researchers who require additional computing and storage resources within this managed shared environment. Researchers have the option of purchasing additional computing and storage hardware which is integrated into the shared cluster. Owners retain priority use. Any excess capacity is made available to others through the Shared resource pool. An additional shorter-term rental option for storage is available through the Storage-as-a-Service program.

Getting Started