Farm Cluster

About the Farm Cluster

Updated on 7/7/22

Farm is a Linux-based supercomputing cluster for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. Designed for both research and teaching, it is a significant campus resource primarily for CPU and RAM-based computing, with a wide selection of centrally-managed software available for research in genetics, proteomics, and related bioinformatics pipelines, weather and environmental modeling, fluid and particle simulations, geographic information system (GIS) software, and more.

Farm Hardware

Farm is an evolving cluster that changes and grows to meet the current needs of researchers, and has undergone three phases, with Farm III as the most recent evolution.

Farm III consists of 32 parallel nodes with up to 64 CPUs and 256GB RAM each in low2/med2/high2, plus 17 “bigmem” nodes with up to 96 CPUs and 1TB RAM each in the bml/bmm/bmh queue. All Farm III bigmem and newer parallel nodes and storage are on EDR/100Gbit interconnects. Older parallel nodes and storage are on FDR/55Gbit.

Farm II consists of 95 parallel nodes with 24 CPUs and 64GB RAM each in low/med/high, plus 9 “bigmem” nodes with 64 CPUs and 512GB RAM each in the bigmeml/bigmemm/bigmemh queues, and 1 additional node with 96 CPUs and 1TB RAM. Farm II nodes are on QDR/32Gbit interconnects.

Hardware from both Farm II and Farm III are still in service; Farm I has been decommissioned as of 2014.

Farm also has multiple file servers with over 5.3PB of storage space total.

Access to Farm

All researchers in CA&ES are entitled to free access to 8 nodes with 24 CPUs and 64GB RAM each (up to a maximum of 192 CPUs and 512GB RAM) in Farm II’s low, medium, and high priority batch queues, as well as 100GB storage space.

Additional usage and access may be purchased by contributing to Farm III by through the node and/or storage rates, or by purchasing equipment and contributing through the rack fee rate.

Contributors always receive priority access to the resources that they have purchased within one minute with the “one-minute guarantee.” Users can also request additional unused resources on a “fair share” basis–someone who contributes twice as much will be able to use twice as many unused resources in the medium or low partitions.

Farm Administration

Farm hardware and software are administrated by the HPC Core Facility Team.

Current Rates

As of March 2022, the rates for Farm III:

Node and Storage Rates (each buy-in guarantees access for 5 years):

  • Parallel (CPU) node: $13,500 (512 GB RAM, 128 cores/256 threads, 2 TB /scratch)
  • Bigmem node: 128 cores/256 threads, 2TB RAM (bml, bmm, bmh partitions) - $25,000
  • GPU: $14,500 1/8th of a GPU node (A100 with 80GB GPU RAM, 16 CPU cores / 32 threads, 128GB system RAM)
  • Storage: $100/TB with compression for 5 years (does not include backups) 

Bring your own equipment:

Equipment may be purchased directly by researchers based on actual cost. Equipment quote available upon request.

  • Equipment purchases not using above rates - $375/year per rack unit for five years

For more information about buying into Farm, contact Adam Getchell or the Helpdesk.