Daily Bulletin Archive

May 30, 2012

Responses to a CISL user survey that was conducted in late 2011 and early 2012 are helping shape the new Yellowstone environment. We have just posted our response to the survey, summarizing suggestions, comments, and service ratings from more than 160 supercomputer users. It also describes how the information is being used, actions that have already been taken based on user feedback, and others that are planned or being considered.

To read the report, go to CISL's Yellowstone User Environment Survey Results web page or download the PDF file.

May 23, 2012

Several workshops are being held around the country this summer, aimed at educators who want to introduce or expand the use of computational resources in their classrooms. Faculty who are teaching at the college level, especially Minority-Serving Institutions, are encouraged to apply. Applications from secondary school teachers in appropriate disciplines will be accepted on a space-available basis.

A limited number of travel scholarships are available to interested faculty. The scholarships will provide partial or full reimbursement of travel costs to and from the workshops and/or local housing costs. Preference will be given to faculty from institutions that are formally engaged with the education program of XSEDE – Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment – and those institutions that can provide some matching travel funds. Recipients are expected to be present for the full workshop.

Those interested in a travel scholarship should register for the desired workshop, and then create an account and complete the scholarship application at:

As part of its education program, XSEDE is co-sponsoring these workshops with the National Computational Science Institute to provide professional development for faculty interested in integrating computational science education into their classes and curriculum. XSEDE also is working with institutions interested in creating formal undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate, and concentration programs in computational science.

Workshop list, including details and application links:

The National Computational Science Institute provides workshops covering a wide range of subjects relating to computational science. These workshops are for educators at all levels, giving them ideas and resources to use in their classrooms.
NCSI: http://www.computationalscience.org/

May 17, 2012

At the request of NSF, CISL is relaying the message below to our user communities. --Daily B.

We want you to help guide EarthCube, a bold new NSF initiative to create an integrated data and knowledge management system for the geosciences. Researchers funded by NSF want to know your views on the needs in data and cyberinfrastructure across the geosciences. Because data discovery, access, and use is such an integral part of what we all do now, we encourage you to click the following link and take the survey ASAP http://sgiz.mobi/s3/EarthCube-Stakeholder-Consent-PA *

We also encourage you to register on the EarthCube website (http://earthcube.ning.com/) and get involved in the conversations that are taking place about EarthCube. Survey results will be shared with NSF, posted on the EarthCube website, and presented at the EarthCube community meeting this June.

* This link takes you to a survey to capture your view on how to best advance data-enabled geoscience. Your participation is voluntary. Your identity will be kept separate from your responses and be kept strictly confidential. Only aggregate findings will be reported. As for all surveys of this kind, it starts with a voluntary consent form. Please share your views by clicking on the above link and tell us what you think.

May 17, 2012

The CISL User Services Section has published new “quick start” documentation for NCAR users who are working with the Janus cluster managed by the University of Colorado's Research Computing group. It includes details about logging in, which node to use for compiling, a sample job script, and other information that NCAR users need to know. See Quick start for NCAR users.

May 16, 2012

No Scheduled Downtime: Bluefire, HPSS, Lynx, DAV, GLADE

May 16, 2012

Bluefire login nodes outage for May 15 has been cancelled.

Bluefire login nodes may not be accessible between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. this coming Tuesday, May 15 while system administrators try to tune some network parameters as part of solving the recent GPFS performance problems. We are working closely with IBM on the exact settings for the network configuration, and we may have to postpone this change.

We apologize for the inconvenience and uncertainty created due to this change.

We will make every effort to minimize both. Please note that Bluefire batch nodes will continue running jobs throughout the outage.

May 9, 2012

Over the past few weeks, many users have experienced and have submitted tickets reporting intermittent periods of slow response times on the Bluefire login nodes, the Mirage DAV nodes, and other systems, as well as slow file system performance from the Bluefire batch nodes.

CISL staff from the high-end services section, the networking section, and the consulting group have been continuously pursuing every possible cause of this performance degradation since the April 14 data center power-down. Networking and computing vendors have also been engaged. In fact, the problem became more pronounced after the power-down, but actually seems to have surfaced on or about April 9.

All recent downtimes and changes for Bluefire and other systems have been made to track down and eliminate the root cause of the problem. Please monitor email from Notifier to keep apprised of changes and downtimes. (Subscribing to the "CISL Status" service at http://notifier.ucar.edu/ will get you all key notices.)

We have narrowed down the possible problem locations to the networking connections and interfaces between the compute systems and the GLADE servers, but to date have not yet isolated the cause of the problem. Our current monitoring shows that changes to date have mitigated the problem and the incidents have been less frequent and shorter, but the issue has not yet been eliminated.

We apologize for the inconvenience that this problem has caused. Rest assured that we are continuing to give the problem our full attention.

May 9, 2012

To help you prepare for the transition from Bluefire to the new Yellowstone environment, we've put together some information about the most notable differences between these systems: Transition from Bluefire. We hope it will answer some questions for you.

When more details become available, we will expand that page and also let you know when other new documentation is published.

As announced recently, Bluefire will be shut down on or shortly after September 30, 2012. Review that CISL Daily Bulletin item for more information.

May 7, 2012

The CISL Consulting Services Group will offer its four-day High Performance Computing (HPC) workshops on May 22 to 25, 2012, to help our users learn essential knowledge and skills to work with supercomputers. Topics include CISL Facilities and Support Overview, UNIX, Fortran, Programmer’s Tools, Parallel Programming with MPI/OpenMP, NCL/IDL/Matlab, and others.

You can enroll in the workshop either on-site or online. Please visit the following link for more details and registration.

May 2, 2012

While CISL is preparing for the arrival of the first Yellowstone hardware shipments, we wanted to provide users with some information about what you can expect from Bluefire in the coming months.

Most important, CISL has extended the maintenance agreement for Bluefire through September 30, 2012, and we will continue to operate Bluefire as a production resource until that date. If you encounter any issues, please contact cislhelp@ucar.edu as you do now.

Keep the September 30 deadline in mind, however. On or shortly after that date, Bluefire will be shut down for good. We will not be able to keep Bluefire around for "one last run." All users and projects should plan to complete critical work or reach meaningful stopping points before that date.

Furthermore, keep in mind that Bluefire is likely to become more active near the deadline, not less busy, as users try to complete their projects. All users are asked to plan accordingly and avoid the last-minute rush.

For planning purposes, assume that the September 30, 2012, is fixed. However, CISL is closely watching the Yellowstone deployment schedule for any changes that would recommend an extension to Bluefire's operation. We will inform users as quickly as possible if we change the date.