1. e-FISCAL survey overview

The e-FISCAL project will build a cost model using anonymised real data to create a total yearly cost of ownership measure. This model will allow service providers and user communities to identify areas where the overall cost efficiency of ICT-enabled research can be optimised and provide useful input for their long-term sustainability planning. It assists planning by identifying the e-Infrastructure cost factors on a cost item basis. The scope includes analysing the costs and cost structures of the European High-Throughput and High-Performance Computing (HTC and HPC) and comparing the costs and the cost structures of these research e-Infrastructures with similar commercial leased or on-demand offerings. The comparison would go beyond a simple “cost per core hour” comparison by identifying and analysing the qualitative differences in service (such as quality of service and availability) between HTC or HPC e-Infrastructures and their closest commercial counterparts. A more detailed description of the project as well as an overview of the model are found in appendix A.
The questionnaire is targeted not only to NGIs and national HPC coordinators, but also to individual HTC/HPC centres. This is due to the fact that some key information (such as energy or auxiliary costs) is usually available at such (HTC/HPC centre) level. The questionnaire has two main sections. The first covers the necessary input data for the calculation of the total yearly cost of ownership: amortized investment costs and operating expenses. Therefore there are questions referring to the investment in e-infrastructure elements (hardware, computing storage, interconnect equipment and auxiliary equipment) as well as operating expenses related questions (e.g. personnel, electricity, premises costs). The generic cost model used in the study accompanied by benchmarking metrics produced by the analysis of the data will become public on the project’s website. The second section is related to the sustainability outlook and Green IT aspects where questions about the current and future use of services by commercial service providers are discussed.
Data provided will be compared with existing accounting data available at a central level (such as EGI.eu accounting portal). The answers given will be considered as strictly confidential and only statistically processed results that guarantee anonymity will be publishable. For this reason even partially completed questionnaires are valuable for the project. Furthermore, the data will not be made public even after the project lifetime. For any questions related to the survey please contact survey@efiscal.eu.
This effort is funded by the FP7 EC project e-FISCAL (www.e-fiscal.eu).

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