Skip to main content
IT Service Status
IT Service Status

Quests Workshop and Classroom Allocations

Quest allocations are available for workshops and classroom use. Requests for such an allocation must be submitted by the instructor.


A Workshop and Classroom Allocation provides accounts on Quest for all students added to the allocation. The group will have access to 2TB of shared storage in a dedicated projects directory, and each student will have 80GB in their individual home directories.

Students will have access to the Quest Analytics Nodes. The Quest Analytics Nodes are suitable for small and moderately sized interactive jobs only. Classes and workshops using R are encouraged to have students install R and RStudio on their own computers when possible instead of using the Quest Analytics Nodes. SAS provides a free University Edition for students, as well as free access to SAS OnDemand for Academics; use of these services is encouraged in cases where these options meet the needs of the class or individual students.

SAS Studio sessions are limited to 4GB of RAM. RStudio users are asked to be aware of memory use when analyzing large data sets; those using large amounts of memory or otherwise running computationally intensive analyses may have their sessions cancelled and be asked to alter their workflow.  Sessions generally time out after one hour of inactivity. See Quest Analytics Nodes for more details. If you plan to assign work that requires significant computational resources, please contact to discuss whether Quest can meet your needs.

Information of the versions of SAS and R available can be found at Quest Analytics Nodes. If your class will be using particular R packages, please include that information on your application so that those packages can be installed centrally, particularly if they require compilation.

Allocation Management

Instructors are responsible for managing the allocation and student use of Quest. This includes:

  • Supplying NetIDs of students, instructors, and support staff who need access. You will be notified when accounts are created; students will not be contacted by Northwestern IT directly regarding account creation.
  • Teaching students how to use the Quest resources necessary for the class or workshop. This includes logging in, transferring files to and from Quest, use of software, package installation and management, and, if needed, how to submit jobs. Instructors (or their TAs or staff) are responsible for fielding initial questions or issues. If you encounter an error with the system, please submit a help request to
  • Managing access permissions for shared allocation storage. Please contact Research Computing and Data Services at if you will need additional permissions to manage student files in the shared allocation space.

A template with suggested information that instructors can provide to students is available for those using Quest Analytics and those submitting jobs to Quest.

Quest documentation can be found on the IT Knowledge Base

Timing and Duration

Requests for Workshop and Classroom allocations should be made at least one week prior to the start of the class. 

The allocation will be active for the duration of the current (or upcoming) quarter; it will expire approximately three weeks after the end of the quarter. If you requested shared storage space as part of the allocation, files in it will be deleted when the allocation expires. Students and instructors that are not part of another active Quest allocation will have their accounts and files deleted when the classroom allocation expires.

Special Requests

If your classroom or workshop needs fall outside of the limits described above, please contact Research Computing and Data Services at to discuss options.

If your class or workshop requires students to run batch jobs on Quest via the scheduler, Research Computing and Data Services staff can work with you to help students get started.


Quest is not approved for the storage or processing of restricted data.

Allocation Request Forms

HPC Allocations Request Forms are available for workshops and classroom use.

These forms are for use by instructors.