Rules, Deliverables and Logistics




Equipment configurations are always subject to safety as first consideration. If it cannot be done safely then it should not be done. Consult SCC Supervisor when in doubt.

Power Budget (3KW)

The rule of the competition is to power the equipment used in an HPC cluster within the power limit of 3000W (approximately ~13A) on 1 power circuit while running the benchmarks and applications specified. The power distribution unit (PDU) that will be used to monitor the power usage for each team cannot exceed that limit.

Each team will be provided with two power circuits in the booth. One socket from one circuit will be used for the APC PDU that used to power the equipment for the competition, the other circuit can be used for power other miscellaneous equipment that the team might have.

There will be two Types of power outlets (at least one of the outlets is rated at 16A) will be provided for each team. Only 1 PDU will be given to each team which will be plug into 1 of the power outlets. The other Type F power outlet will have a power strip. Each team will be responsible for bringing in accessories, such as power strip (that takes the Type F plug), power cables for electric equipment, computer monitors, splitter cables (with proper plugs), etc. If you need to connect more devices, the team will need to bring in additional power strip. Any additional power strips, power plug converter, and power extension cords, splitter cables (with proper plugs), or other equipment needs to be supplied by the teams.

Please note that computer monitor can be excluded from the power budget.
For each circuit, there will be circuit breaker will have a limit of 16A. The Type F (Schuko) plugs are available to plug into the circuits.

Competition PDU

The power distribution unit (PDU) used to monitor the power usage for the competition supports drawing of a maximum of 16A of power. We are using the APC AP8858 PDU to monitor the power usage through its Ethernet interface via SNMP for each team. The TypeF wall plug from each booth can supports up to a maximum of 16A power. As the rule states, each team will use the power cap at 3kW. Teams might need to prepare an adapter to convert from the TypeF (Schuko) wall power to the C20 socket for the input of the PDU.

The technical specifications for the competition PDU is detailed here:

There are 18 outlets for C13 and 2 outlets for C19 available. If more devices are needed to be plugged into the PDU to account for the power budget, the team will need to prepare and bring enough splitter cables (IEC C14 to C13 Splitter power cables) to power the additional devices. If the type of the plugs used for the machines are not taking C13, the teams will be responsible for bringing suitable power cables.

We will collect power consumption from the PDU to monitor the power usage by the teams. As soon as the power consumption is over 3000W, the overload warning light on the PDU will be illuminated to notify the team has exceeded the power budget. The SCC supervisors will be notified too that the power exceeded the limit. Points will be deducted each time the power budget is exceeded.

If the power consumption get well beyond the 3000W limit, the circuit breaker may trip and you will lose power to the systems. The team will also lose valuable system time to run the dataset while the circuit breaker is being reset, so the team will need to control the power draw throughout the competition.

The AP8858 PDU will display the actual wattage on the LCD indicator of the PDU. A link to the web page that shows the power draw by each team will be provided during the competition. As soon as the power draw exceeds 3000W by a team during the actual competition, the team will trigger the warning on the PDU to notify the team has exceeded the power budget. The SCC supervisors will be notified that the team has exceeded the power limit and ask the offending team to stop and rerun any application/benchmark runs might have run during the power limit. SCC supervisors may disqualify one or more run submissions if they observe that the power consumption is beyond the limit for an extended period of time. The idea is for teams NOT to exceed the 3000W limit. The team needs to control the power draw to 3000W or less.

Examples of Equipment In Power Budget

A laptop/desktop machine that does system monitoring is ok not to include in the power budget. The power budget covers all of the equipment that is actively used for the applications and benchmarking (for example servers. Monitors for example is not part of the budget.

However, if you plan on using a system provisioning software with management, that is responsible for distributing the software images/packages to the compute nodes. That will count as a part of the cluster and should count as a part of the power budget.

The rule is, if it has any direct impact on the application performance, and we need to account that for the power budget.

Using external/stored power source is not allowed. Such as using laptop battery or battery backup (for instance, Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS) is not allowed.

Examples of power usage that counts toward power budget:
– Servers
– Network switches
– System provision nodes
– Laptop/desktop running system monitoring software for provisioning system images.
– File system server (such as NFS server)
– Fans, and other method of cooling (such as liquid cooling)

Examples of power usage that does not count towards power budget:
– Laptop/desktop running system monitoring software for the power usage.
– Monitor/screen/KVM
– Personal laptops or other equipment

Hands off System Throughout the Competition

No one can touch the equipment physically after the competition starts. If there is a need to touch the equipment an official SCC supervisor needs to be called and will rule on the issue. The only exception is in safety – if an unsafe condition is found, anyone can power down the equipment, and SCC supervisor must be called immediately afterwards.

No changes in the BIOS (or in EFI shell) are allowed after the competition has started. The systems are to be powered on at all times and no rebooting. System reboots can only reboot when the system is hung or it has encountered major failures.

Powered On at All Times and No Rebooting

All equipment used for the competition must be turned-on at all time (i.e. one cannot run one benchmark on part of the system and then power up the entire system for other benchmarks). System reboots are only necessary for hung or failed hardware. SCC Supervisor must be notified before rebooting any hardware.

Modes like hibernation or suspension (either suspend-to-RAM or to disk) are not allowed. Those modes do not qualify for the rule “power on at all times and no rebooting” because power on mode implies that compute nodes need to be in the operating mode throughout the competition. Hibernation, suspension, and sleep modes are not in the operating mode, they are in the Standby mode, thus not qualify according to the rule.

Using the cluster after submitting the daily results

The teams that submitted the daily results, allows to continue and use their cluster and even cross power.
The teams are not allowed to run jobs after the end of the time deadline, the servers should remain idle.

Competition Input Files

The input files along with the secret application and any other special instructions on running the applications dataset will be given at the beginning of the day to each team using USB before the competition starts on each day. For some applications, even the input files may be small, there are steps involved, such as domain decomposition, which will create additional data files for each CPU to process. Thus generate much more space than just the input files that are given. Teams will need to be familiar with the benchmark applications to understand the typical data set and the runtime IO requirements in order to come up with a good enough disk storage solution.
Teams may try to run benchmark dataset and benchmark suites that for their practice purposes. As for preparation, we expect teams to build the applications and run a few benchmarks to get familiar with the application and dataset to discover the characteristics of an application and datasets to their own advantages.




Each SCC team must provide all requested information on or before posted deadlines.
Deliverables include:
– Team/individual/advisor(s) profiles and photos
– Team presentation overview
– Team logos, for wearables
– Team final configurations


Team Submissions must be contain complete information, for the entire team and for each individual participant team member and advisor(s).
Each Team member should add the following parameters to the roster (Name, Field of Study, University/Affiliation, T-Shirt Size, Photo and social handle.
Per Team you should supply Team photo, Logos, T-Shirt color, team presentation and social handle.


Team overviews (*.ppt) are displayed in the Student Lounge throughout the competition. It is used with media and judges and to introduce ISC attendees to participating students taking part in the competition. It should include information about each team member including advisor, sponsors and highlight the team’s unique configuration for the competition. Use the HPCAC Team presentation template to submit.

Cluster Architecture

The teams should submit general overview of the competition hardware and software configuration (i.e. system model, number of nodes, CPU model, type of memory per node, disks, interconnect, OS, hardware accelerators if used, etc.). The details will be provided to judges, media and attendees.

How to Deliver

1. Download this excel and fill in the details per team member, and for the whole team.
2. Create a team presentation vi this template.
3. Create a dedicated, team folder titled using the following naming convention: Team_XXX_SCC_DeliverablesRoster
4. All requested files and deliverables (photos, logos, roster, etc.) must include titles using the same naming convention: Team_XXX_SCC_MemberSurnamePhoto, Team_XXX_SCC_AffiliationorSponsorNameLogo etc.
5. Zip the folder and email to one zipped file that includes one final team roster with all information completed in its entirety for each participant and all items requested (logos; team and individual photos, etc.)



Conference Registration Passes

– Students and advisors who participate at the Student Cluster Competition will not need to pay for the registration to the ISC conference. Each team is allocated with up to eight complimentary conference passes (six team members plus two advisors).
– Voucher codes are required for registration and will be provided around April time frame via email to the team captain.
– Each team member, including advisors, must register directly, using the voucher codes at the ISC conference registration site.
– Try to allow time to learn and enjoy the conference by attending conference sessions, networking with attendees, meeting with sponsors and exhibitors, etc.

Travel Information

Plan your visit
For information regarding Frankfurt, travel and accommodation and Visa requirements for Germany please visit ISC Travel and Stay.

Visa Requirements
if your nationality require travel visas for Germany, you need to work on that by yourself. The HPC-AC Advisory Council may supply invitation letter to help with the VISA application. ISC registration has an option to automatically generate an official letter of invitation from conference organizers – recognized as the official document required for visa application and approval.

Shipping & Customs

Refer to the ISC Exhibitors Manual listing all deadlines, forms and other information needed for planning your shipment.

It is recommended, whenever possible, that teams coordinate shipment/delivery of loaner equipment (hardware, etc.) to/from Germany with their sponsors directly to assist with required documentation (such as commercial invoices, country of origin, etc. as well as to/return shipping labels; preferred shipping service/contact information, account billing number, etc.) needed for temporary customs clearance of exhibition material scheduled to be re-exported from Germany and return to the country of origin.

Get your sponsors engaged! Teams must provide all sponsors with courtesy and critical competition information such as team booth number (for equipment delivery/pickup); pre/post exhibit schedule (set-up/dismantle); competition schedule and any other requirements to assure team equipment arrives at its intended destination(s) and sponsors are actively involved in their teams participation.

Teams coordinating shipments directly are advised to verify their country of origin and Germany’s import/export guidelines including customs policies, any associated duties or fees, required documentation and labeling of shipments for temporary customs clearance (as previously outlined).

All shipments, including shipment documents, must be coordinated with and provided to Schenker Hannover the sole logistics, customs, warehousing, setup/dismantle provider for ISC. Schenker will receive, store, deliver, pick-up and return all ISC shipments. Arrangements for Schenker services must be arranged directly and may be subject to additional fees. For more details, see

Heed all deadlines! Plan ahead and allocate enough time! All shipments should be scheduled for delivery, to clear customs and arrive at the Schenker address provided in the exhibitors guide. All shipments should include completed return shipping labels and instructions as needed.

Ship to Address / Contact info
Please be sure destination address labels for each shipment include the booth number, team name along with a team member’s primary contact information (name and telephone number).

Please work with your advisors, sponsors and ISC services, including Schenker and refer to the exhibitor services guide first for information on shipping, delivery and return of competition equipment.

Cluster Hardware and Vendors

The teams should work to get in touch with sponsors/vendors in case they need help with hardware allocation for the competition. In case you have questions related to vendors you can email use on and we will try to help.

Loaner Equipment
Teams are responsible for securing, managing, tracking and returning all sponsor loaner equipment including its return in the same condition received. Please be cautious with all loaner equipment throughout the conference, from build to dismantle.

All loaner equipment received by teams while in Germany must be returned to the provider directly following completion of the competition to avoid incurring unexpected expenses for equipment recovery, return shipping, VAT tax, etc.

Pre/Post Competition

Teams are responsible for set-up in their booth including receiving and unpacking shipments, including placement of equipment and all other items required for the competition, used for display, etc.

– Setup is scheduled beginning Saturday morning and should be complete Monday morning in preparation for the conference opening and competition kick-off.
– During setup entrance to the exhibition hall is through a marked security side entrance.
– To receive temporary badges required for entrance and setup indicate you are Student Cluster Competition exhibitor.
– Notify Schenker services, at the back of the exhibit hall, for shipment delivery to your booth.
– At least one team member must be present to accept delivery of your shipment
– Once shipments have been completely unpacked; collect and consolidate all necessary return shipping materials (boxes, crates, pallets, packing materials, return shippers, etc.) contact Schenker to collect your items for storage.
– Schenker will store team materials, which will be returned to your booth following the exhibition close (Wednesday, 6pm)

Tear Down
Do not leave anything behind! Teams are responsible for all items in their booths including removal and return of all loaner equipment received/used outside of their own shipments; dismantling, packing and labeling all team equipment and properties; all necessary documentation and coordinating return shipments to their origin.

Don’t forget to return the APC AP8858 and the Schuko-to-C19 cable provided for the competition at the HPC-AI Advisory Council booth.

– Teams can begin to dismantle items in their booth upon completion of the competition.
– Stored shipping materials will be returned to booths at the close of the conference exhibit.
– All teams must package and secure their equipment for shipment. Shipping labels must be affixed to each piece of return shipments. Additional shipping labels can be obtained from Shenker services.
– Power strips provided by ISC events must remain in the booth.
– There is no hold or storage area. Everything left, including anything forgotten or remaining in booths and exhibit hall will be gone after midnight on Thursday.


Where is my booth?
Find your team booth number on the Teams page.

Booth Design
Be creative throughout the competition! Teams are encouraged to bring and display posters, banners and information promoting their team, schools, skills, studies and related works along with sponsor-provided materials. For additional design options, at team’s own expense and coordination, contact CubicWorx listed in the exhibitor manual.

Ethernet Network and Internet Connection

Team booths will include Two Ethernet connections. One Ethernet connection must be dedicated to the PDU network port, the other can be used by the team. Teams are responsible for providing any additional network equipment needed to share the connection to all other devices that require an internet connection. ISC will provide WIFI in the conference halls.


Team booths include one power source, one APC AP8858 PDU, and one Tripp Lite Schuko-to-C19 cable for the PDU. The PDU will be plugged into one of the available receptacle of the power source. Additional Schuko power strips for plugging in equipment (such as laptops, or non-competition systems) will be provided by ISC Events.

The red is rated 16A @240V ~3840W, and should be used for the competition PDU. The other ones (blue) can be used to plug in anything else not related to competition.

Competition Cluster

The competition systems can be put in a rack, on a table, on the floor, or anywhere in the booth. It is for the team to decide, but having systems placed in a rack would ensure the safety of the systems and also allow troubleshooting of the system easier.