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Computing account charging

This is a summary of the charges that apply to computer accounts at the FMRIB Centre

Starting in January 2014, FMRIB IT will be introducing a pay-by-usage charging model to replace the £3000 per account fixed fee. Details on how this system operates are provided on this page.


Low Usage Account Charge £/pa (pro rata) Normal Account Charge £/pa (pro rata) Compute Charge £/h Disk Charge £ per GB per month
Allocated Unused Unprotected (Scratch) Protected
100 1000 0.03 0.02 0.04 0.10



All accounts will be subject to a service provision charge based on the number of accounts active in the previous year and the budgeted costs for running the computing facilities:

  • (Intended) Hardware Purchases - four year amortisation period
  • Staff costs
  • Third-party support costs (not disk/cluster related)
  • Third-party Service rental costs
  • Software licensing (not disk/cluster related)

Where an account is deemed to be a low usage account (less than ten gigabytes of disk allocation, less than one hour of compute usage) this fee will be capped at £100. The charge is pro rata, for example an account active for 6 months would pay 50% of the charge (i.e. £500 or £50 depending on usage).


All accounts will be subject to a disk usage rental fee to cover the costs of providing data storage:

  • (Intended) Hardware Purchases - four year amortisation period
  • Tape purchase
  • Software licensing
  • Third-party support costs

This charge comprises of the following:

  • A low charge for disk space of any type allocated but unused
  • A medium charge for disk space used but unprotected by our data backup systems (scratch folder)
  • A higher charge for disk space used in one of the tape backup protected areas (home folders and /vols/Data)


Where an account uses the compute cluster a charge will be levied on the cpu time used in the charging period for standard jobs, and on the wall time for interactive tasks.


For the purposes of grant preparation we have analysed the usage data collected in 2013 and have calculated the following median per user charges for an account which passes the low-use threshold figures (>10GB disk usage and >1h cluster time). By definition, there are many researchers whose usage exceeds these median values, and hence we would not recommend in general budgeting simply according to the medians, as this would result in higher-usage researchers running short on IT funds.

User Type

Median Cluster Charge p.a. (SD)

Median Disk Charge p.a. (SD)

Post Doc

£41.20 (477.79)

£31.33 (89.97)


£35.24 (557.74)

£24.21 (68.37)


£14.84 (230.14)

£19.11 (46.81)

These accounts are also subject to a £1000 p.a. standing charge. 


Below are histograms generated from the usage statistics collected during the 2013 pilot period.

Histogram of charges for postdoc accounts based on usage data for 2013 thresholded at the low usage standing charge.

Histogram of charges for student accounts based on usage data for 2013 thresholded at the low usage standing charge.Histogram of charges for collaborator accounts based on usage data for 2013 thresholded at the low usage standing charge.

IT Staff Contacts

Before directly e-mailing or calling IT staff please consider emailing

  • IT Manager, Dave Flitney, +44 1865 222713,
  • Computer Officer, Duncan Mortimer, +44 1865 222713,