Sheffield University HPC Computing Facilities

High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities provided by IT Services are freely available to all staff and research students at Sheffield University. As well as fast number crunching capabilities, it also provides many specialist software packages that are not normally available on the public workstations.

Description of the Facilities

HPC service for Sheffield University are provided by ShARC and Bessemer which are clusters comprising hundreds of computers. Intensive computing jobs that require hours and days of computing time or heavy resources such as large RAM memory can be submitted to these clusters and the output from such jobs can be viewed at your convenience. 

N8 CIR’s recently-announced supercomputer, known as Bede. Bede is a new EPSRC-funded ‘Tier 2’ (regional) HPC. The cluster is suitable for running machine learning and computational applications which require GPUs. The system is available for use by researchers from N8 Research Partnership institutions (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, and York). Your project needs to be registered and you need to fill the application form before requesting an account.

How do I go about becoming a user?

All staff and Research Students are entitled to use these HPC facilities. A simple process of registration will provide you with a username on these clusters. You must not share your account credentials or allow others to run jobs using your account. Any misuse of accounts will be investigated in accordance with the University of Sheffield’s IT Code of Practice.

For Staff

All staff can have an account on Bessemer or ShARC by simply emailing

For Students

The following categories of students can have an account on Bessemer or ShARC with the permission of their supervisors:

  • Research Postgraduates
  • Taught Postgraduates - project work
  • Undergraduates 3rd & 4th year - project work
  • All students must ask their academic supervisor to request an account by emailing on their behalf.

Once you have obtained your Bessemer or ShARC username, you need to initialize your password to be the same as your normal password by following the Manage passwords link on the "See also" box.

Security of Your Data on the HPC Service

The High Performance Computing service should not be used to store or process sensitive information for example personal information, financial data, commercially sensitive or any other form of restricted data without first discussing your requirements with the Research IT Team -

The security of your data is important to us and we make every effort to ensure that our HPC systems are as secure as possible within the constraints of running a high performance shared service. Building in additional security controls has to be balanced against the performance and financial costs of the HPC service.

Although we have strived to ensure that a robust baseline of security is in place suitable for the HPC community we are aware that regulatory bodies and our research partners are asking for increasingly stringent security controls that the HPC may not have in place.

Extra care should always be taken when dealing with sensitive information; if you are in any doubt about the sensitivity of information, or how it should be handled, then please contact the IT Service Desk for advice - Help and Support