Limits on the Use of Computing Resources

Current Limits on the Use of Computing Resources at USC

Section 1. General Understandings

1.1 Although computing resources available to the university community are significant, they are limited. ITS manages computing resources to ensure that all authorized account holders have adequate access to efficient and reliable computing resources. Resource limits apply to time-sharing hosts, campus servers, and the university network infrastructure. The policies below cite specific restrictions and identify activities designed to ensure optimal benefit to each account holder.

1.2 For account holders accessing ITS time-sharing systems, limits exist based upon CPU usage (time and percentage), total number of user processes, memory, and disk space usage. As shown in the following sections, limits may be across systems or specific to a particular host and change periodically based on available resources.

Section 2. Student Computing Facility (SCF), and Health Sciences Computing (hsc)

2.1 No CPU-intensive or large-memory process may be run on any of the general time-sharing systems. Only one class-mandated homework job per account is allowed at one time. On single-user workstations, the process restrictions are waived provided the user leaves no processes running after logging out.

2.2 A CPU-intensive process is defined differently depending upon the host’s resources. A list of major hosts and limits is shown below.

Host Max CPU Time Max % CPU Max Memory
aludra (SCF) 60 minutes 10% 600 MB
nunki (SCF) 60 minutes 10% 350 MB
hsc 30 minutes 10% 40 MB

2.3 On all general purpose time-sharing hosts, accounts may not have more than 20 processes at any time. Stopped and/or backgrounded processes count equally toward this limit.

Section 3. Basic and Research Computing Accounts (RCF/BCF)

3.1 BCF accounts on the time-sharing host and web server are monitored for CPU and memory utilization to ensure the integrity of shared system resources. Each BCF account contains 1 gigabyte of disk storage space.

3.2 RCF accounts on the time-sharing host and web server are monitored for CPU and memory utilization to ensure the integrity of shared system resources. Each RCF home directory contains 200 megabytes of disk storage space.

Section 4. Web Servers (Cwis)

4.1 On the primary Web server, Cwis, accounts may not have any long running or CPU-intensive processes. Cwis may only be used for USCWeb-related work and may not be used for email or other non-USCWeb-related processes. Disk allocation on Cwis is only intended for storage of USCWeb-related files and should not be used for general file storage. Account holders may not run their own database servers on Cwis.

Section 5. RESNet bandwidth usage

5.1 All uses of the ResNet network should be within the limits of the General Policies Regarding the Electronic Communication Infrastructure at USC (General Policies). Additionally, intensive use of the network for long periods of time should be limited to no more than 3.5 gigabytes transferred in two hours and no more than 10 gigabytes in any 24-hour period. This usage level is stated to insure adequate bandwidth is available for all users of the network. Violations of this policy can result in the disabling of all network access.

5.2 In all cases, usage at or above these levels for academic or USC mission related work can be excepted. Exceptions will need to be requested in writing and have a departmental chair’s approval for the work.

Section 6. Servers in RESNet

6.1 To ensure adequate network resource availability and network security, the running of servers in the residential network is prohibited. These servers include and are not limited to WWW, FTP, and Telnet servers. Violations of this policy may result in the disabling of network access.