Access to compute services

We provide researchers with capacity and expertise for high performance computing, data processing and cloud computing. Find out how you can request access and support from SURF.

Future Computing

Small Compute applications (NWO)

Researchers can apply for limited amounts of computing time, data services and support. Applications are done through SURF, but funded by NWO.

Request portal

What can I apply for?

 You can submit the following Small Compute applications for the use of compute systems, storage and support. This includes:

  • up to 1,000,000 CPU or GPU SBU (standard billing units) of cluster computing on Snellius Supercomputer (including max. 200GB directory storage, 4 hours of support, if required max. 50TB offline tape storage, if required max. 10TB project space storage, Research Drive - via SURF max. 5TB or via institution).
  • Up to 500,000 CPU core-hours and/or 14,000 GPU hours of cluster computing on the LUMI pre-exascale supercomputer (including max. 100,000 TB-hours project space storage, 4 hours of support).
  • Up to 50,000 CPU core hours of cloud computing on HPC Cloud via SURF Research Cloud(including max. 2TB storage, 4 hours of support, if required max. 50TB offline tape storage, Research Drive - via SURF max. 5TB or via institution).
  • up to 5,000 GPU hours of cloud computing on HPC Cloud via SURF Research Cloud (including max. 2TB storage, 4 hours of support, if required max. 50TB offline tape storage, Research Drive - via SURF (max. 5TB) or via institution).
  • up to 1,000,000 CPU core hours of data processing on Grid/Spider (including up to 200TB disk storage, 300TB tape storage, Research Drive (via SURF max. 5TB or via institution) and expertise to be determined in consultation).
  • up to 10,000 GPU hours of data processing on Grid/Spider (including up to 200TB disk storage, 300TB tape storage, Research Drive - via SURF (up to 5TB) or via institution, and expertise to be determined in consultation).
  • up to 100,000 CPU core hours Cloud Research Consultancy (MS4/CCS), max. 2TB storage, amount support in consultation but max 160 hours, if necessary max. 50TB offline tape storage, Research Drive (via SURF max. 5 TB or via institution).
Who can apply?

Professors, assistant professors, associate professors and other researchers with a similar position* may submit an application if they are in permanent employment (and therefore have a paid employment contract for an indefinite period) or have a tenure track agreement with one of the following organisations:

  • Universities located in the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  • University medical centers;
  • KNAW- en NWO-instituten;
  • Universities of applied sciences, as referred to in Article 1.8 of the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW)
  • the Netherlands Cancer Institute;
  • the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen;
  • NCB Naturalis;
  • Advanced Research Centre for NanoLithography (ARCNL);
  • Prinses Maxima Centrum

Researchers from the following institutions may submit an application, provided that the institution meets the cumulative criteria described below:

  • The TO2 federation (Deltares, Marin, NLR, TNO and WUR/DLO);
  • IHE Delft Institute for Water Education;
  • The institutions participating in SURF Cooperative: KNMI, RIVM, National Archives, National Archives, National Library of the Netherlands, University of Humanistic Studies, Police Academy, IKNL.

In this case, the organisation in question:​​​​​​

  • Is based in the Netherlands;
  • Has a public task and is independent in the conduct of research;
  • Receives at least 50% public funding;
  • Has no profit motive other than for the purpose of conducting further research.

*A comparable position is understood to mean that a researcher demonstrably has a comparable number of years of experience in conducting scientific research and supervising other researchers as a professor or associate professor.

Both researchers with a permanent contract and with a temporary contract can submit an application as the main applicant. Additional conditions apply to researchers with a temporary contract.

How much capacity in total is there available for applications?

For both Small Compute Applications (NWO) and Large Compute Applications (NWO), the total capacity available is as follows:

  • Supercomputer: 1805 million SBU on Snellius (1286 million SBU CPU thin nodes, 325 million SBU GPU nodes, 185 million SBU CPU fat nodes, 9 million SBU CPU high-memory nodes), with 9,896 TB of Snellius project space and 15,000 TB of Data Archive (offline tape storage).
  • LUMI pre-exascale supercomputer: 22.241 million CPU core-hours, 1.408 million GPU hours and 10.130 million TB-hours of project space storage.
  • Data Processing (Grid and/or Spider): 141.50 million CPU core hours and 0.3 million GPU hours, with 28,712 TB of online storage and 13,000 TB of Grid storage - tape (offline tape storage).
  • HPC Cloud (via SURF Research Cloud): 26.28 million CPU core hours and 1.33 million GPU hours, with 700 TB of online storage.
  • Cloud Research Consultancy: 5.2 million CPU core hours, with 263 TB of online storage.
  • 200 TB storage Research Drive.
For which projects is the pre-exascale supercomputer LUMI most suitable?

Access to LUMI is best suited for projects that require computations at an extreme scale, specifically GPU accelerated workloads on tens to hundreds of GPUs. You can apply for LUMI access if your project requires computations at such scale, or if it targets other LUMI-specific hardware. 

A LUMI-regular application should be preceded by a LUMI pilot or another LUMI project to make sure that your code runs successfully on AMD hardware and scales well to large numbers of GPUs. 

How often can I apply?

Each applicant may submit one application per type of service, per calendar year.

Example 1: in 2021, a researcher can apply for 50,000 core hours on HPC Cloud and 500,000 core hours on Snellius.

Example 2: if a researcher works for 2 research projects, both of which require HPC Cloud, this researcher can only submit a pilot application for HPC Cloud for 1 of these projects. For the other project, someone else must submit the application.

Is interim raising possible?

As long as the application is within the limits set by the compute service, it may be raised.

Example: applicant has a pilot allocation of 350,000 core hours on Snellius. If it turns out that the applicant needs an additional 150,000 core hours during the period of use, then an increase is possible within the same allocation.

Who can sign the application?

Applicants with a permanent contract can sign their application themselves. Applicants with a temporary employment contract must have the application digitally signed by a responsible scientific supervisor with a permanent appointment. With this, the supervisor declares to guarantee the justification of allocated computing time, storage and support. This scientific supervisor may act as guarantor for several applicants.

How long does an application take?

Within 1 to 2 weeks after submitting your application, you can have access to our systems.

Is there an overview of the grants?

Yes, on the NWO website. NWO publishes all granted Large compute applications (NWO) via news items. At the bottom of these announcements there is an appendix with all Small compute applications (NWO) via SURF.

Can I get help with submitting my application?

We are happy to help you. Please create a ticket on our Servicedesk portal and we will get in touch.

I have been granted access. Can I extend the duration?

Yes, a one-time extension of max 6 months is possible. 

For LUMI a one-time extension of 3 months is possible.

Please create a ticket on our Servicedesk portal and we will get in touch.

Where can I find more information?

There is more detailed information available on the website of NWO: Computing Time on National Computer Facilities and in the call text.