Skip to content

Computing on the PATh Facility vs. OSG's Open Science Pool

Getting started with High Throughput Computing (HTC) compute resources is easy and our Research Computing Facilitation Team is here to help you every step along the way.

There are two HTC systems funded by the Partnership to Advance High Throughput Computing (PATh) grant that are available free-of-charge to United States open science projects: the PATh Facility and OSG’s Open Science Pool. Both are large-scale distributed High Throughput Computing systems that provide free compute resources.

A researcher’s experience on PATh Facility and OSG’s Open Science Pool (OSPool) compute systems is similar: both offer thousands of CPU resources, as well as GPUs, disk space for saving actively-used data, and support technologies such as containerized software and checkpointing. They also both use a HTCondor Software Suite as a job scheduling software, which specializes in managing large high-throughput workflows.

There are a few key differences that might impact which system you are interested in:

OSG’s OSPool is open to any US-affiliated academic, non-profit, or government research project. OSG’s OSPool does not use a credit system and is optimized for running many small jobs simultaneously. Once your account is activated, you can begin submitting jobs to HTCondor to run on the OSPool. The OSPool is composed of donated compute capacity from institutions from around the United States, meaning individual researchers can run thousands of backfill jobs on this system every day. To get the most out of the OSPool, we recommend jobs submitted to the OSPool have laptop-sized resource profiles.

The PATh Facility is a dedicated High Throughput Computing system for researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The PATh Facility uses a “compute credit” system which allows researchers to request larger resource requests for their jobs than can be supported on the OSPool. Researchers can request larger amounts of CPU/GPUs, more memory, disk space, and a longer runtime and are guaranteed these resources until their job completes. Researchers on the PATh Facility start with a startup allocation of credits and should use these startup credits to inform a formal NSF credit request as part of a new or existing grant request. This credit-based system is optimized for running many small, medium, and large HTC jobs simultaneously.