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High-performance computing

A panel of computing hardware with wires and lights

High-performance computing (HPC) uses aggregated computing power to deliver higher performance than would be possible with a standard desktop computer.

UCT offers an HPC facility to its researchers that is reliable, scalable and economic. There are dedicated staff members at Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) who can provide support to UCT researchers’ for their computing requirements.

There are HPC facilities available for research and for teaching and learning.

By delivering better performance than is possible on a standard desktop computer, HPC can be used to solve large-scale problems that would otherwise take too long to run or be impossible to execute. HPC is becoming increasingly important as research data sets grow larger and the infrastructure necessary to analyse them expands.

Get access

To use the HPC facilities for your research, fill in the form on the HPC website. Researchers who want to run a course using HPC, should email eResearch.

Researchers that make use of the HPC resources are bound by the Acceptable Use Policy and are required to cite the HPC resource. There is currently no service level agreement for HPC resources. If you need specific infrastructure on the HPC cluster that does not work within its current configuration, then you will need to include it in your budget and engage with ICTS regarding its provisioning.


UCT’s HPC facility is housed at ICTS’s data centres to make use of their support and security infrastructure. Currently, HPC operations are catered for in the budget for the procurement and life cycle of ICTS equipment, however, the long-term aim is for the hardware to be self-sustaining through research funding.

If you need more computing resources than the HPC facilities can provide, take a look at the research infrastructure facilities available at UCT.