ASAP01 - ASA Policies

Policy: ASAP01 - R4
Title: ASA Policies
Date: 01/01/94:Revised 3/8/2005
Distribution: All ASA Users


This policy defines the ASA policy document as a vehicle for documenting and communicating policies relating to the Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA) and its user community.


ASA policies are numbered and controlled documents that define current policies of the Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA). Policies defined in these documents will be followed in operating the George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center (GCWSC), the Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN) and other ASA activities. Policies will be numbered ASAP01-R0, ASAP02-R0, etc. Revisions will be indicated by incrementing the revision number: ASAP01-R1, ASAP01-R2, etc.


All ASA policies will be approved by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA) and concurred to by the current professional services contractor.


ASA policies will be issued and updated on an as-needed basis.


ASA policies are applicable to clients of GCWSC, AREN, High Performance Computing (HPC) and Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA) and its professional services contractor. Copies of policies are available electronically through ASA's web site ASAP02 - List of Current Policies.


ASA policies will address issues which affect users of GCWSC, AREN, and HPC and generally relate to the operational and administrative activities of ASA. While procedures may be defined in the "ASA User Guide", the ASA policy will be the official document for overall guidance.

ASAP02 - List of Current Policies

Policy: ASAP02 - R7
Title: List of Current Policies
Date: 08/16/95:Revised 9/1/2009
Distribution: ASA Staff, ASA Clients


This policy exists to provide a list of all current ASA policies. This list will be updated on a periodic basis as needed to remain current.


Policy Number
Revision Number
Revision Date
Policy Title
ASAP01 R4 3/8/2005 ASA Policies
ASAP02 R8 4/21/2005 List of Current Policies
ASAP03 R5 3/8/2005 ASA- Hours of Operation
ASAP04 R7 9/1/2009 HPC Charges for Commercial Clients
ASAP05 R8 9/1/2009 HPC Client File Storage
ASAP06 R5 3/24/2005 HPC Proprietary Program Charges
ASAP08 R6 4/21/2005 ASA User Accounts
ASAP13 R2 4/18/2005 Configuration Change Request
ASAP14 R5 3/24/2005 Access to GCWSC
ASAP17 R4 9/1/2009 Requesting Dedicated Time on ASA HPC Platforms
ASAP20 R4 3/15/2005 ASA Acceptable Use Policy
ASAP21 R1 3/9/2005 CIPA Content Filtering Policy
ASAP22 R0 In Process ASA Disaster Recovery


ASAP03 - ASA Hours of Operation

Policy: ASAP03 - R5
Title: ASA Hours of Operation
Date: 01/01/94:Revised 3/8/05
Distribution: All ASA Clients


This policy defines the scheduled hours of operation of the George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center (GCWSC), the Alabama Research and Education Network Operations Center, the ASA Network Office, and the ASA Business Office.


Alabama Supercomputer Authority
Center for Commerce
401 Adams Avenue
Suite 764
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

(334) 242-0100
(334) 242-0637 (fax)

The ASA office is opened Monday - Friday, 0800-1700 (closed on all State holidays).


AREN Network Operation Center
George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center
686 Discovery Drive
Huntsville, Alabama 35806
(256) 971-7448

The Network Operations Center (NOC) for the Alabama Research and Education Network is manned, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

Planned network outages will be posted on the ASA web site at least four (4) days in advance.

Network outages required by unexpected hardware or software problems will be posted as soon as possible to give users as much advance notice as possible.

The George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center is open to users (and visitors by appointment) Monday through Friday, 0800 to 1700. Off-hour access to users is available, by prior arrangement.

These schedules relate to the functioning of all equipment and services that provide network connectivity to ASA clients.


686 Discovery Drive
Huntsville, Alabama 35806
(256) 971-7404
(256) 971-7473 (fax)


The ASA Network office is opened Monday - Friday, 0800-1700 (closed on all State holidays).

ASAP04 - HPC Charges for Commercial Clients

Policy: ASAP04 - R7
Title: HPC Charges for Commercial Clients
Date: 01/01/94:Revised 9/1/2009
Distribution: All ASA Commercial Clients


This policy establishes guidelines for charging for processing on ASA's High performance Computing (HPC) platforms. Currently, ASA maintains two (2) HPC platforms, an SGI 350 and a Dense Memory Cluster system. The method is based upon a cost recovery charge per CPU hour.


  • There is a minimum purchase of 2000 CPU hours upon which an account is established.
  • Current CPU/hour rates are on the ASA web site under HPC services.
  • CPU hours on each platform are assigned a value. ASA reserves the right to change the dollar value per CPU hour at any time (will not effect current contracts).
  • Jobs that are submitted without a sufficient CPU hour balance will be automatically suspended until additional CPU hours are purchased.
  • Special services will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
  • AREN access charges may or may not apply
  • All HPC contracts expire within one year unless changed by mutual agreement


Clients that request use of software provided by ASA must abide by the software license agreements for those software packages. Most of the software packages have the license terms included in the online documentation.

Most of the software provided by ASA is licensed for academic use. Commercial users or university researchers doing work under contract to commercial firms must contact the Alabama Supercomputer Authority to see if this usage is allowed by the current license.


Additional charges may be incurred if additional disk space is required above the assigned initial space.

Charges for additional consultation may be deemed appropriate when time is expended above and beyond the normal is experienced.

All users are responsible for the safe disposition (backup) of their own program and data files.


ASAP05 - HPC Client File Storage Capacities

Policy: ASAP05 - R8
Title: HPC Client File Storage Capacities
Date: 08/16/95:Revised 09/1/2009
Distribution: All ASA Users




The policy relates to file storage capacities for clients using ASA High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities.

The client is responsible for providing his/her own backup by what ever method is appropriate (e.g. ftp to local node, etc.).

File backup is performed at the central site only for unscheduled outages and disaster recovery.




Each client account is assigned a /home directory in a file system for a particular HPC platform. Client files stored within this directory are termed permanent client storage. Files stored here remain until removed by the client or by the PERMANENT STORAGE PURGE (see C, below).

File storage limits in the/home directory are set at 1 GB (1 gigabyte) for the particular HPC platform and a total of 2 GB (2 Gigabytes) across all systems excluding scratch disk.

If a client requires more file space (up to 40 GB) the client must request additional space from ASA's HPC Computational Specialist at .

Clients requiring file space over and above 20 GB must make a request directly through ASA's Chief Fiscal Officer, there will be a charge involved.




When the /home limit is reached, clients will get a warning message indicating that disk usage must be reduced below their assigned limit within in 7 days. After 7 days without reducing usage, any process attempting to create additional files will be killed.




To accommodate jobs that require large amounts of temporary scratch space, clients will have access to the/scratch directory. This directory provides 1.1 TB (1.1 Terabytes) of temporary storage. Data left in this directory after calculation completes will be purged after seven (7) days with no backup.


To provide recovery in the event of a storage hardware failure, files on HPC file storage facilities will be backed up periodically to a RAID server. These backups are not available for recovery of individual files deleted by a client. No backup is maintained for files on/scratch .

In the event that client /home directory files are destroyed by hardware or software system failure, /home,directory files will be restored from the latest backup available. Files on /scratch cannot be restored. A news notification will be posted.


Accounts are established on an annual basis. Home directory files are maintained up to one year after account expiration.

ASAP06 - HPC Proprietary Program Charges

Policy: ASAP06 - R5
Title: HPC Proprietary Program Charges
Date: 01/01/94:Revised 3/24/2005
Distribution: All ASA HPC Clients


This policy discusses charges to ASA High Performance Computation (HPC) clients for proprietary application programs available on ASA HPC platforms.


ASA Policy ASAP04 specifies the charging policy for ASA HPC platforms. This policy documents only the ADDITIONAL charges each user is to pay for using certain proprietary programs. These charges are specified by the vendor of each particular program, and are based on program usage.

  • Proprietary charges are in ADDITION to the normal processing charges for HPC time.
  • Proprietary charges are always billed by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority, unless the user has received an exemption.

ASAP08 - Establishing an ASA HPC User Account

Policy: ASAP08 - R6
Title: Establishing an ASA HPC User Account
Date: 05/01/94: Revised 04/21/2005
Distribution: ASA HPC Clients

A. OVERVIEW.This policy describes how accounts are established for High Performance Computation clients.

Parties interested in establishing accounts should contact the ASA HPC Computational Specialist by email or telephone (256-971-7434).


The Alabama Supercomputer Authority has four (4) categories of accounts:

  • Academic/Education - Accounts allocated to state academic education without charge
  • Academic/Fee-based - A state academic researcher working off a grant which pays for HPC use (sponsored research), state academic researcher working on an Industrial/Government sponsored project, or a private institution researcher are charged a fee for using ASA HPC resources.
  • Collaborative Client - A state researcher who has entered into an agreement with ASA to provide and utilize resources to be located at ASC.
  • Commercial - Paid use from Industry or Government Agency. Charges for these account categories are outlined in policy ASAP04 and current rates are displayed on ASA's website


Potential clients should contact the ASA HPC Computational Specialist or ASA directly in order to initiate a "Request for Services Contract".


Accounts will expire one year from when the account was established or last renewed. Accounts will be reactivated as soon as new account requests are received and approved by ASA. Users with queued jobs that will run past this deadline can complete the ASA HPC Grant Request form up to one week prior to the account expiration date. Other users will be required to complete this form after the expiration date. The form can be completed online at .

Accounts may be closed at anytime based on a request from an academic or a commercial account representative prior to expiration. When an account expires, the account is deleted from all platforms. Files are held for 30 days and then deleted unless a special request is made in writing prior to the expiration date.


Initial passwords are assigned by the Account Administrator at ASC. Users may set their own password.

Clients who have lost passwords, or suspected security breeches, should contact the ASA HPC Computational Specialist or 256-971-7434 as soon as possible.

ASAP13 - ASA Configuration Change Request

Policy: ASAP13 - R2
Title: ASA Configuration Change Request
Date: 01/01/94:Revised 4/18/2005
Distribution: ASA Staff


The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the ASA Configuration Change Request (CCR). The purpose of the CCR is to provide a documented procedure to effect changes and enhancements to the services provided by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority by ASA's Professional Services Contractor not covered in the current contract. The requested changes should be submitted and labeled "Configuration Change Request" (CCR).


A CCR can be submitted by ASA or ASA's professional services contractor to the ASA COO. Copies (in electronic form or paper) will be passed around for discussion as necessary.


The ASA COO will then make any additional comments and send it on to the ASA CEO for approval or disapproval. Since the request may mean the expenditure of funds, the responsible party (originator) is not to take any action until given direction/approval by the ASA CEO.

ASAP14 - Access to the George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center

Title: Access to the George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center
DATE: 05/01/94:Revised 3/24/05
Distribution: ASA Staff, Contractor Personnel, and ASA Clients


This policy defines the procedure governing physical access to the George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center (GCWSC).


Access to the GCWSC is electronically controlled 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. Electronic "keys" are be assigned to necessary and essential personnel based on a category system (see below). Each key is electronically encoded for facility access and tracking purposes. The ASA facilities manager is responsible for the issuance and accounting for all keys. The ASA facilities manager is also responsible for maintaining the electronic access control and camera system.


The access list for GCWSC is structured into three sections or categories:

1.Category 1 - Permanent Staff

  • Category 1 is defined as Permanent staff: ASA staff personnel and ASA's contractor personnel permanently assigned to the GCWSC. Assignments to this list will be directed by the ASA CEO and COO and controlled by the ASA facilities manager.

    Permanent staff will have unrestricted access to the facility Monday through Friday during business hours. Access after close of business on weekdays and on weekends will require signing in and out on the visitor log located in the front lobby desk. Signing the visitor log is not required between the hours of 0700 to 1700 on weekdays.

    Internal access to individual offices will be controlled through mechanical key assignments determined by ASA and ASA contractor management. The ASA facilities manager will assign and account for mechanical keys.

    Category 1 personnel are authorized to escort guests.

    Category 1 personnel should make every effort to inform their management and operations helpdesk personnel in advance of guest arrivals.

2.Category 2 - Approved on-site Users

  • Category 2 is defined as on-site or contract users who may be assigned space at GCWSC. Category 2 users must be approved by ASA and assigned space at GCWSC. Application for office or computer room space consists of correspondence to ASA management indicating purpose and duration of requirement. Category 2 users will be required to sign the visitors log at all times. Personal identification may be requested. Movement within the facility is limited to the assigned office and public areas on the first floor.

    These users are not authorized to escort guests.

3. Category 3 - Other building visitors


  • a. Emergency Personnel

    Emergency personnel shall have all rights of access necessary to perform their duties. If required, network operations personnel or the ASA facilities manager will escort or arrange escort in compliance with emergency procedures.

    b. Tours and Training Sessions

  • Tours of the facility and training sessions shall be scheduled in advance with ASA. ASA will be advised of time, group identity, and expected size in advance. These visitors shall not have access to contractor offices or the ASA offices. Tours of the computer room must be scheduled in advance and approved by ASA and ASA's contractor management. Groups must be escorted by Category 1 staff at all times in areas other than the public areas in the front of the first floor.

c. Vendors and Maintenance Personnel

All vendor support personnel, building support personnel and maintenance personnel, must sign the visitor log and be escorted or confirmed by Category 1 personnel.

    All other visitors to the GCWSC will be required to sign the visitor log. They must be announced to their point of contact who will then give operations personnel verbal acceptance and instructions.

    Only Category 1 management may grant exceptions to this procedure; such exceptions are to be documented in the visitor log and acknowledged by the member of management granting the exception and initialing the entry.


    Office assignment will be the responsibility of the ASA CEO. A copy of the approved space application indicating room number and length of stay will be provided to ASA. The ASA facilities manager is responsible for providing access to the assigned office space and whatever communications they might need.


    ASAP17 - Requesting Dedicated Time on ASA HPC Platforms

    TITLE:Requesting Dedicated Time on ASA HPC Platforms
    DATE: 01/01/94:Revised 9/1/2009
    Distribution: All ASA Clients


    This policy defines the process for requesting dedicated time on the Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA) HPC platforms, the associated charges for use, and the time available for dedicated machine use.

    Dedicated time means that one client has the sole use of the complete platform for a specific period of time and is established for commercial clients.


    Requests for dedicated machine time should be directed to the HPC Computational Specialist at The reason for dedicated time must be specified. A description of what activities will be performed and what assistance is needed.


    Charges for dedicated time will be negotiated with ASA. Dedicated time will include one hour of preparation time to configure the platform for dedicated use. If a client signs up for dedicated time and fails to use it, the user will be charged for one hour of use at the rate negotiated.



    The DMC Cluster and the SGI ALTIX 350 are available for dedicated time as negotiated.

    ASAP20 - ASA Acceptable Use Policy

    Policy: ASAP20 - R4
    Title: ASA Acceptable Use Policy
    Date: 01/01/94:Revised 1/24/2019
    Distribution: All ASA Clients

    The Alabama Supercomputer Authority, a state non-profit corporation (1975 Alabama Code §§ 41-10-390 to 41-10-406), administers the Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN), a statewide education network, and operates the George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center. The purpose of this policy is to provide a definition for acceptable use by authorized clients of ASA services and to indicate recommended action if the policy is violated. In those cases when information is transmitted across regional networks or Internet, ASA clients are advised that acceptable use policies of those networks apply and may limit access.

      • OVERVIEW
    • ASA services are for the use of individuals legitimately affiliated with ASA clients, to facilitate the exchange of information consistent with the academic, educational, and research purposes of its member organizations.
    • It is not acceptable to use ASA services for illegal purposes.
    • It is not acceptable to use ASA services to transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials.
    • Access to the INTERNET is provided through agreements with INTERNET Service Providers. These agreements allow ASA to grant access to the INTERNET to government, education, and industrial clients. Charges may be assessed by ASA to facilitate network and Internet connectivity.
    • The reselling of the ASA services is prohibited unless approved in writing by ASA.
    • It is not acceptable for ASA clients to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment (intentionally and unintentionally) through the use of ASA services. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, unsolicited advertising, propagation of computer worms or viruses, and using AREN to make unauthorized entries to any other computers accessible via the network. ASA clients are responsible for maintaining an acceptable security status on all assets connected to AREN.
    • ASA clients must respect the legal protection applied to programs, data, photographs, music, text documents and other material as provided by copyright, trademark, patent, licensure and other proprietary rights mechanisms.
    • Authorized ASA clients are required to protect their attached computers, servers, and networks from computer viruses or worms that cause a systemic disruption to ASA and its INTERNET services.
    • Authorized ASA clients are required to provide current and accurate client contact information to enable ASA representatives to have ready access for resolution of problems.
    • Information and resources accessible through ASA services are private to the individuals and organizations which own or hold rights to those resources and information unless specifically stated otherwise by the owners or holders of rights. It is therefore not acceptable for an individual to use ASA services to access information or resources unless permission is granted by the owners or holders of rights to those resources or information.
    • ASA services and resources are provided for use by ASA clients based in Alabama.  None of the anticipated usage is expected to fall under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, a European Union computer security regulation).  As such, ASA services and resources are not compliant with the GDPR regulations.  No data that falls under GDPR regulations should be stored or processed on ASA-provided systems.  If you feel that your usage should fall under GDPR, please contact the ASA Business Office to discuss your needs.

    The intent of this policy is to identify certain types of uses that are not appropriate, but this policy does not necessarily enumerate all possible inappropriate uses. Using the guidelines given above, ASA may at any time make a determination that a particular use is not appropriate.


    All organizations authorized to access ASA services are responsible for informing their users of this acceptable use policy. All users of ASA services are required to follow the acceptable use guidelines, both in letter and spirit.

    ASA reserves the right to monitor and review all traffic and data on ASA provided services for potential violations of this policy. Violations of policy that are not promptly remedied by individuals or ASA clients may result in termination of access to ASA services. ASA will only release sensitive, confidential or personally identifiable information to third parties when required by law, or when in ASA's judgment, release is required to prevent serious injury or harm that could result from violation of this policy.

    Final authority for the determination of violation of the ASA Acceptable Use Policy and subsequent penalty rests with the ASA Board of Directors.

    It is the responsibility of ASA clients to contact ASA, in writing, regarding questions of interpretation. Until such issues are resolved, questionable use should be considered "not acceptable".


    ASAP21 - CIPA Content Filtering Policy

    Policy: ASAP21-R3
    Title: CIPA Content Filtering Policy
    Date: 7/8/2002 Revised:3/9/2005 Revised: 11/12/2008 Revised: 7/22/2012
    Distribution: All ASA Clients


    The Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN) is a statewide education network administered by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA), a state non-profit corporation. ASA provides connectivity and Internet access to K-12 public school systems and many public libraries within the state of Alabama. By July 1, 2002 all public school systems and public libraries that receive E-rate funds were required to be compliant to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), an act signed into law by Congress on December 21, 2000.

    "No public school or public library may receive discounts unless it certifies that it is enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes the use of filtering or blocking technology". - (CIPA 12/21/2000)

    ASA utilizes a vendor-supplied content filtering service that is available to "all" AREN clients. This service may be used as the "Technology Protection Measure" referenced in CIPA.

    "A Technology Protection Measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access. It must protect against access by adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors harmful to minors. It may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes." - (CIPA 12/21/2000)

    Additional requirements for CIPA compliance were implemented on July 1, 2012. Internet safety policies must now be updated to additionally "provide for the educating of minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness, and response."

    The use of the ASA content filter does not make a public school system or a public library fully "CIPA compliant".
    Additional steps (i.e. design and implement an "Internet Safety Policy", provide public notice and hold a public hearing etc.) must be taken by the public school or the public library as outlined within CIPA.


      1. The ASA's current content filtering solution refers to the Technology Protection Measure in use by ASA for AREN Internet web access at any point in time.
      2. ASA must have in its possession at the time of activation a valid "ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering" and a SLD Form 479 from the respective public school system or public library.
      3. The ASA content filtering service provides for filtering according to various profiles available to clients (i.e. public libraries, elementary schools, high schools, etc.). The default profile will block Internet web sites classified under the current CIPA requirements:

        "block or filter Internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions. These include visual depictions that are (1) obscene, or (2) child pornography, or (3) with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors, material that is harmful to minors" - (CIPA 12/21/2000)



    1. The filtering software vendor includes provisions for reviewing and classifying all web sites that have not been classified. If a filtered client reaches an obviously inappropriate site, the vendor will automatically update to block the site within 72 hours. This automatic update occurs because lists of all unclassified sites are sent to the vendor for classification and review on a daily basis.
    2. In order to expedite filtering of unclassified or improperly classified sites, manual changes can be requested through the helpdesk or through the Filter Management Interface.
    3. Filtering changes should normally be made by the client’s designated filtering coordinator. The filtering coordinator is usually the school system's technology coordinator or the library's network manager but may be any person designated by the school superintendent or library administrator on the ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering.
    4. A distributed management interface for the AREN filtering system can be accessed at The filtering coordinator should contact the helpdesk and request instruction in the use of this interface if it is not currently being used. The helpdesk can provide authentication credentials for the coordinator and instruction in the use of the tool.
    5. No action will be taken by ASA personnel to change filtering profiles, unblock sites, or block sites until a client's filtering coordinator has requested such action via the AREN helpdesk. Most changes of this type should be made directly by the client’s filtering coordinator through the distributed management interface at Using this interface allows clients to make their own changes without having to contact the AREN helpdesk.


    1. ASA CIPA Content Filtering FAQ will provide additional information about how content filtering will be implemented.
    2. The AREN client who wants to utilize the provided content filtering must sign an ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering and a signed copy SLD Form 479.
    3. The ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering and signed SLD Form 479 should then be mailed or faxed to:

      Alabama Supercomputer Authority
      Center for Commerce
      401 Adams Avenue
      Suite 764
      Montgomery, AL 36130
      (334) 242-0100
      (fax) 334-242-0637



    1. ASA's content filtering solution is designed to block inappropriate web sites as defined by current CIPA guidelines. This solution does not filter inappropriate content contained in email or chat rooms.
    2. ASA will strive to provide a content filtering service that is useful and current and will attempt to address problems where the filtering service is found to be deficient.
    3. ASA assumes no liability in the event that the content filtering service is not 100% effective. ASA also assumes no responsibility for the currency of the filter or the content provided through it.
    4. All ASA clients are responsible to abide by the ASA Acceptable Use Policy (ASAP20).
    5. ASA clients may add additional content filtering to their own networks in addition to the one provided by ASA.
    6. ASA clients may discontinue their use of ASA's content filtering service with written notification and with proof of use of an alternative content filtering technology protection measure.