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The software installed cluster wide on Neon and Argon is not identical and so two separate lists are maintained.

Neon Software List

Argon Software List

Even in cases where the the same package is installed on the systems the versions may be different due to operating system differences or other factors. We generally recommend that you install specialized software in your home directory but if you feel a package is useful for many people or the package requires administrative access to install then send a request to hpc-sysadmins@iowa.uiowa.edu.

Software installation and review

Packages that are installed centrally on an HPC system must be compliant with the University of Iowa policy on software licensing. Verifying compliance is part of the process for installing software centrally and can potentially add days to weeks to the deployment time, depending on the complexity of the software agreement. Also, depending on the nature of the license, we may need to get more information from you. The compliance verification process is described below with the hope that it will give you an idea of what to expect. Generally speaking, we will handle the initiation of the review process but may need to gather more information from the requestor to complete the process. The exception is for software that was purchased by a college or department. In this case the collegiate or department IT staff are generally the best people to drive the review process.

Software is open source with a common open source license

For open source software there are several licenses that have already been approved for deployment on University computers. See Open Source Licensing - Technology Review | Information Technology Services for the list. If the software package is licensed under one of those licenses then the software is already compliant. No further action is needed and deployment of the package can proceed once the mechanics of distributing it are worked out.

Software is freely available and/or open source but has a non-standard license

If the software is not licensed under one of the approved licenses then it will need to go through the review process, even if it is freely available. Information on the process can be found at Technology Reviews Information | Information Technology Services. There is a form that can be filled out to initiate the review process, Technology Review Process | Information Technology Services. In this case, it is usually just a matter of a review to make sure there are no clauses in the license that may be problematic. In some cases this may require access restrictions. An example of this would be software that requires registration to download and use. Registration may be required for the project's own metrics or perhaps to verify an academic affiliation if there is an academic/educational use version of the license.

Software that was purchased and has a license agreement

These tend to be the most complex and therefore take the longest. The agreement that was signed at purchase will need to be provided for review. Software in this category almost always requires a defined scheme of access control before deployment is approved by the University General Counsel.

Software has already been reviewed

It is possible that the software has already been reviewed at the time of purchase and is on the reviewed and approved list prior to the request for installation on an HPC system. This can be checked on the List of Reviewed Agreements | Information Technology Services. However, even if a software title is on that list we still need to verify that the license allows it to be installed on an HPC cluster system. There are many cases where a product is licensed, and on the reviewed list, for an individual or group to use on a limited set of machines but cluster systems may be excluded. At this point it may just be a matter of determining how access controls will be put in place to satisfy the language of the license agreement but that needs to be approved by the University of Iowa General Counsel.

Post review

Once the software package has been reviewed and authorized for deployment on a cluster, possibly with an access control scheme, the software can then be deployed centrally on the HPC system. While we can usually work on the mechanics of the deployment in parallel with the review process please plan accordingly for all of the steps to be completed.

 

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