Daily Bulletin Archive

Jul. 31, 2012

With the imminent arrival of Yellowstone and the expected large-scale data production, CISL is making changes to the HPSS environment. With these changes, HPSS will discontinue support for the dual-copy class of service, while providing users with a second-copy backup area for enhanced preservation of critical data.

These changes will happen in several steps. On August 1, 2012, a new user backup area (see below) will be made available to users. Then, on September 1, 2012, HPSS will discontinue support for the dual-copy class of service in favor of a user-controlled, second-copy strategy. Finally, and also starting September 1, the HPSS team will begin converting all data files stored in the dual-copy class of service to single-copy files.

Most existing dual-copy files are over one year old, dating from the prior Mass Storage System (MSS), which used dual-copy as the default class of service. HPSS has always used single-copy as its default, and since April 2011, very little new data has been stored as dual-copy. However, converting existing dual-copy files will recover 3 PB of space in support of Yellowstone-related data storage needs.

To replace the dual-copy class of service, HPSS will provide a backup area into which users can copy critical files for which they wish to have the extra level of protection. Files copied to the backup area will be guaranteed to be on separate tape cartridges. In addition, the backup area provides protection from user errors over and above the dual-copy class of service. Specifically, the backup copies are protected from user-initiated deletions or overwrites of the primary copies. In contrast, deleting or overwriting a dual-copy file deletes or overwrites both copies.

Interested users should submit a CISL Help request for their own directory in the backup area. Users can then use the cp command to copy data to the backup area. Files in the backup area will be charged against project allocations at the same rate as primary copies. Documentation for this new feature is available at http://www2.cisl.ucar.edu/docs/hpss/copies.

All users are welcome to take advantage of the backup area, but are encouraged to carefully consider which files need the extra protection. While data loss can happen, it is very rare. CISL's tape archive has had several media failures in the past year, but all files were recovered by the vendor. Over the tape archive's lifetime, there have been only a few instances of data being lost from media failure.

If you have questions about this change or whether your files may be affected, please contact cislhelp@ucar.edu.

Jul. 30, 2012

The Bluefire system will be supporting two significant training activities in late July and early August, and other users may experience slightly slower turnaround as a result. Students participating in these activities will have access to a higher-priority queue to ensure jobs can be completed in a timely fashion for the training exercises.

The heaviest student load will occur in the afternoons from July 30 to August 3 when the two-week Dynamical Core Model Intercomparison Project (DCMIP, see http://esse.engin.umich.edu/groups/admg/dcmip/) summer school and the weeklong 2012 Community Earth System Modeling tutorial (see http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/events/tutorials/073012/) overlap. Student usage will decrease accordingly during the second week.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and ask users to plan their work accordingly.

Jul. 27, 2012

NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) invites NSF-supported university researchers in the atmospheric, oceanic, and related sciences to submit large allocation requests for the forthcoming petascale Yellowstone system by September 17, 2012. Revised instructions have been posted for the next round of Large University Allocations, and all requesters are strongly encouraged to review the instructions before preparing their submissions.

These requests will be reviewed by the CISL High-performance computing Advisory Panel (CHAP), and there must be a direct linkage between the NSF award and the computational research being proposed. Please visit http://www2.cisl.ucar.edu/docs/allocations for more university allocation instructions and opportunities.

Allocations will be made on Yellowstone, NCAR's new 1.5-petaflops IBM iDataPlex system, the new data analysis and visualization clusters (Geyser and Caldera), the 11-PB GLADE disk resource, and the HPSS archive. Please see https://www2.cisl.ucar.edu/resources/yellowstone for more system details.

For the much larger Yellowstone resource, the threshold for Small University Allocations has been increased to 200,000 core-hours; researchers with smaller-scale needs should wait until CISL begins accepting small allocation requests in September. However, university researchers with NSF awards can apply for a Small University Allocation on Bluefire or Janus to obtain information on the resource requirements for their research and to test the computational efficiency of their code before applying for a Yellowstone allocation.

Questions may be addressed to: David Hart, User Services Manager, 303-497-1234, dhart@ucar.edu

Jul. 22, 2012
CISL and IBM have made enough progress on the installation of Yellowstone that we can now provide more accurate information about the likely schedule for acceptance and availability of NCAR's new petascale system.

Nearly all Yellowstone hardware has been delivered and is being assembled in the NWSC machine room. In a major milestone, on July 5, Yellowstone was completely powered on. While no significant problems arose, a number of hardware issues have been noted and are being addressed. The number of hardware issues are well within expectations for a system the size of Yellowstone. IBM and CISL are continuing to install software and configure the administrative and user environments. We are now estimating that the installation activities will be completed by the end of July.

At that point, IBM and CISL will jointly conduct benchmarks and run the system with a simulated workload around the clock for three weeks, a period called the Acceptance Test Period (ATP). If Yellowstone successfully completes the acceptance tests, CISL will take over the system from IBM, and we expect at least two additional weeks for NCAR-specific configuration and customization, which may involve clearing all data from the new disk system (several times) to optimize file system performance.

Our best estimate for completing these activities pushes the start of Accelerated Scientific Discovery (ASD) projects to early September. The rest of the user community will have access as soon as practical after the ASD projects begin.

We will keep you posted as we proceed, particularly about significant changes in this schedule. Please contact cislhelp@ucar.edu with any questions.
Jul. 19, 2012

HPSS:  Downtime Tuesday, July 17, 7:00am-9:00am

No Scheduled Downtime: Bluefire,  DAV, GLADE, Lynx

Jul. 12, 2012
 Advanced Topics in Fortran Programming
Date and Time: 
July 11, 2012 - July 13, 2012
9:00-12:00am, 1:00-4:00pm
Vislab at Mesa
Dan Nagle


  • Testing
  • Debugging
  • Memory Leaks
  • Array Techniques
  • Pointer Rank and Bounds Remapping
  • Allocatable Arrays
  • Interoperability with C
  • Type Extension and Polymorphism
  • Abstract Types
  • Final Procedures
  • Parameterized Derived Types
  • Coarrays
  • Synchronization
  • Data Placement and Motion
  • Enhanced Modules

Click for Registration:

Registration is first-come, first-served. If the registration is full, you will be placed to a waiting list automatically. A final confirmation letter will be sent to you later.

If you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to cislhelp.at.ucar.edu.

Jul. 2, 2012

The CISL User Services Section (USS) would like your help in reviewing end-user documentation for the new Yellowstone HPC, analysis, and visualization clusters. We want to make sure we meet your needs as users of these resources.

There are two ways you can help:

  1. Comment on content that has been published already by using our online Feedback Form. We appreciate any suggestions for improvement.
  2. Review new content before it is published for general consumption. You will occasionally receive draft copy for a new web page and asked for your input.

If you can review some early drafts, let us know through the feedback form or email B.J. Smith, USS documentation writer/editor.

Jun. 30, 2012

 The consulting walk-in service will be closed on June 29 AM in order to allow consulting staff members to attend SEA townhall meeting invited by NCAR director. We will respond to the tickets submitted in our ExtraView system before and after this meeting as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this closure.

Jun. 29, 2012

Bluefire: Downtime Tuesday, June 26, 6:00am - 1:00pm

HPSS:    Downtime Tuesday, June 26, 7:00am - 10:am

No Scheduled Downtime: DAV, GLADE, Lynx

Jun. 29, 2012

Training OpportunitiesWays to build or refresh your HPC skills will be easy to identify with the addition of a new “Training Opportunities” button on CISL end-user documentation web pages.

The orange button appears on the right side of your screen when there are training materials from NCAR, XSEDE, or HPC University that relate to a page’s content. Just click the button to see a list of the courses.

Give it a try by looking at our Yellowstone Software page, for example.

Let us know what you think. We appreciate your feedback.