Initial Support Structure for the Cluster
Launch of the MPS cluster was made possible by division and campus level support for shared cluster infrastructure, shared IT resources, and access to appropriate space and highspeed ethernet connectivity. However, in the long term, a sustainable funding structure is needed to maintain the current cluster and its future growth in appropriate space. One of the challenges in creating a sustainable funding structure is constraints on how grant proposal funds can be used. In particular, granting agencies usually require that funds purchase a full piece of equipment (e.g., a switch) rather than paying for part of it. In addition, while there was generous campus/divisional resources allocated to launching the cluster, it is not wise to rely solely on internal support in the long term. Finally, we appreciate that requests for sustaining funds to contributors to the cluster should not interfere with access to cluster. Finally, we appreciate that requests to cluster contributors for sustaining funds should not interfere with access to the cluster.
Therefore, a sustainable funding model is being put in place that will allow Tier 1 and Tier 2 users of the cluster to contribute to a sustainable funding model. Specifically, all tier1 and tier2 faculty are asked to include “computing service” type funds within their research grants. The amount of funding requested is currently (June, 2016) under discussion by the MPS Cluster Advisory Committee