Service Description

The N8 Consortium is a partnership of the most research-intensive universities in the North of England. The N8 High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster provides Tier 2 HPC facilities to any research project which is based at Newcastle. The N8 institutions’ IT services departments are each responsible for user support, the deployment of which, at Newcastle University, is the subject of this definition. Full information on the HPC service itself can be found at http://n8hpc.org.uk


User support features comprise:

  • Project scoping and suitability for HPC on N8.
  • Registration of new projects / users.
  • Requests for temporary prioritisation
  • Software installation and management on the Newcastle branch of the HPC.
  • Login / connection problems and advice.
  • Job submission / configuration error diagnosis.
  • Point of contact for between Newcastle users and N8 HPC service providers

Please note that at this time, we cannot offer advice on writing or optimising code.


The N8 service is available to all researchers at Newcastle University who require High Performance Computing facilities.

All user activity on the N8 HPC must be carried out in aid of a specified project. A project may be requested by any permanent member of academic staff, preferably the PI. Once a project has been approved, a project code is issued which can be communicated to members of the project, who can then use it to request an N8 HPC user account.

New project or username requests should be made by following the instructions, and filling in the respective application form, as found at


Service Hours

User support can be requested at any time, but solutions and replies should only be expected during the times of 09:00-17:00, Monday to Friday, excluding University closure periods.

The NUIT “at risk” period is 07:00-09:00 every Tuesday. Planned maintenance times will be publicised in advance if there will be a disruption to the service.

Level of Service

Project PIs are given priority, followed by all other users.

Replies to initial queries should be normally expected within 3 working days but may take longer depending on staff availability. Resolution times are open ended, depending on support availability and problem / service complexity.

Support and Documentation

As a first resort, especially with regard to obtaining an account, and the basics of using the HPC facility, service users should consult the main N8 documentation, to be found under the ‘Technical’ menu at:


All incidents relating to this service will be handled according to the IT Service incident management process.

Request Process

New project or username requests should be made by following the instructions at:


All other service requests should be made via the IT Service Desk, using one of the following methods:

•             Telephone: 0191 208 5999

•             Self-service web page: https://nuservice.ncl.ac.uk/

All requests relating to this service will be handled according to the IT Service request fulfilment process.

User Responsibility

 Users should have an understanding of basic command line Unix/Linux on shared systems, and preferably some HPC experience. . Users who lack skills and experience in research computing are encouraged to seek the support of their peers wherever possible. The responsibility for ensuring that users are equipped with the computational skills necessary to conduct their particular research is lies with the respective PI.