Harvard’s Research Computing department’s 14,000-core supercomputer “Odyssey” has been moonlighting as a virtual currency miner. As The Register reports, a Harvard student has had their access credentials revoked after the discovery that the Odyssey cluster had been scheduled for use in a Dogecoin mining operation. Harvard is not happy: “Any participation in ‘Klondike’ style digital mining operations or contests for profit requiring Harvard owned assets to examine digital currency key strength and length are strictly prohibited for fairly obvious reasons.”
That someone would seek to employ a supercomputer cluster in a mining operation is hardly a surprise, given the current market for Bitcoin and the various altcoin formats.
“A “dogecoin” (bitcoin derivative) mining operation had been set up on the Odyssey cluster consuming significant resources in order to participate in a mining contest,” wrote Assistant Dean for Research Computing James A. Cuff, in an email to the FAS Research Computing Users Group last Friday.
Cuff went on to write that research computing resources cannot be used for “personal or private gain or any non-research related activity.” He wrote that the person involved in the mining operation no longer has access to “any and all research computing facilities on a fully permanent basis.”
“The Odyssey cluster is a bunch of computers networked together in a way that allows fast data transfer between processors. Although each individual processor isn’t much more powerful than your personal laptop, having many processors together can be a huge benefit when doing scientific computing,”
Or mining virtual currencies…