Daily Bulletin Archive

November 8, 2019

NCAR’s next supercomputer is slated to enter production early in 2022. The procurement process is moving right along, but this next-generation HPC system doesn’t have a name! We need your help (by November 22) coming up with something suitable.

Our goal is to select a name that reflects the value of the computational services we provide in support of our users' work in Earth system science. Our critically important services are among the core activities that enable NCAR to provide knowledge and information for the benefit of society, so it's worth giving some thought to what we will call this new system.

The best name will be easy to spell and pronounce, align with our mission, and inspire some strong visuals/graphics that can become the skins of the computer and even a logo we can use more generally. Suggestions should not conflict with other supercomputer names (e.g., Aurora at ANL, Frontier at ORNL), so you may want to check with Google that they aren't already being used somewhere else.

Submissions are due by Friday, November 22. You can suggest as many as three names. Please use the following form to submit them:

What should we call our next supercomputer?

We look forward to seeing what you come up with. 

November 6, 2019

CISL has released a significant update to the NCAR Package Library (NPL) interface to improve tracking and integration with personal NPL clones. In the new version, you no longer need to have a Python module loaded to access ncar_pylib – simply loading the ncarenv module will give you access to that script. If you then load a Python module, the NPL versions included in the module will become accessible.

Additionally, ncar_pylib can track and activate any new personal clones you create. These clones will be listed alongside any system NPL versions you can access. The ncar_pylib script will record which system you used to create the clone (Cheyenne or Casper) and will only allow you to load a clone on the proper system in order to avoid OS-compatibility errors. See the updated Python documentation page for more information.

Addition: The documentation page has now been updated to include a new section addressing the use of ncar_pylib in batch jobs.

November 5, 2019

The CISL User Services Section will present an online tutorial at 11 a.m. MST on Thursday, November 14, for new users of NCAR’s Cheyenne high-performance computing system. The 60-minute tutorial – presented by Sidd Ghosh of the CISL Consulting Services Group – will cover basic usage and typical user workflows and include time for users to ask questions. Topics will include:

  • The Cheyenne computing environment

  • Accessing software, including compilers and MPI libraries

  • Submitting batch jobs using the PBS scheduler

Please use this link to register for the tutorial: Introduction to Cheyenne.

November 1, 2019

An XSEDE webinar at 12 p.m. MST on Thursday, December 12, will focus on visualizing data using Python and Jupyter Notebooks, which provide a user-friendly way of writing and running Python code as well as teaching and learning how to program. Visual analytics is playing an increasingly important role in data science by allowing researchers to explore massive amounts of data for patterns that may not be obvious using other methods.

The hour-long session will include a brief review of data visualization principles and practices, followed by a series of visualization examples using Python libraries including pandas, matplotlib, bokeh, seaborn, and networkx. Special focus will be given to running code on XSEDE systems.

Log in to the XSEDE User Portal to register for the webinar, which will use the Zoom conferencing system. Please send any questions to training-info@sdsc.edu.

November 1, 2019

CISL is advising users who have data holdings on the High-Performance Storage System (HPSS) to begin deleting files that are no longer needed and to move other data to alternative storage systems soon. While the system will reach its end of life in 2021, getting a late start on the process increases the likelihood that important data will be lost when HPSS is shut down.

Early action is necessary because of the tape archive’s limited bandwidth and the time needed to complete large data transfers. Also, HPSS will be put into read-only mode soon, so users need to review their workflows and stop writing data to tape if they have not already done so.

Newly published documentation – Migrating files from HPSS – lays out the recommended process for identifying and organizing HPSS holdings, copying files that need to be preserved to another storage resource, and deleting files that are no longer needed. Upcoming CISL Daily Bulletin announcements will follow as new tools and expanded documentation become available to support the data migration. In the meantime, please contact CISL for advice on individual workflows, accessing data movers, and storage options.

October 30, 2019

The NCAR Campaign Storage file system can now be accessed from the Casper cluster as /glade/campaign to enable users to read and write data directly from their data analysis and visualization workflows.

Caution: Remember that Campaign Storage files are not backed up, so files that you delete or overwrite cannot be recovered. Please contact the CISL Consulting Services Group if you have questions.

Campaign Storage also remains available through the Globus web interface, Globus Command Line Interface (CLI), and the data-access nodes. Globus is still recommended for data transfers because of its reliability, robustness, performance, and ability to validate the correctness of transfers.

October 29, 2019

Cheyenne, Casper, Glade, and Campaign Store will be down from 7 am to 6 pm on 10/29/2019

HPSS will be down from 7 am to 12 pm on 10/29/2019

October 29, 2019

CISL today joined UCAR IT and other groups in using the Jira Service Desk ticket system to help users quickly find the information or help they need. It features a friendly user interface, simple request forms, and knowledge base articles that answer common questions.

What to do

  • Go to support.ucar.edu and bookmark it, or bookmark either Staff Support or NCAR Research Computing if one of them meets your needs. 

  • Log in with your UCAR username and CIT password. Call CISL at 303-497-2400 if you don’t have a CIT password.

  • Search with keywords to find knowledge base articles.

  • Select a request form, fill it out, and use Create to submit a ticket if you need help.

  • After you submit a request, you’ll receive a confirmation email and a link you can use to track its status.

Staff Support: This portal, which is already in use by UCAR staff for help with UCAR IT services and business applications, has been expanded. It now also serves CISL personnel and NCAR directorate staff who need workstation support and UCAR staff who need support for enterprise IT services that CISL operates. Among other benefits, anyone needing support from both UCAR IT and CISL IT services will be able to find it in one place.

NCAR Research Computing: This portal serves all of our high-performance computing (HPC) system users.

The Knowledge Base includes articles that address some of the most common issues as well as links to related documentation. Users can search the Knowledge Base for HPC-related articles without logging in, but need to log in to submit help requests and get staff-oriented articles.

October 24, 2019

CISL storage engineers will update GLADE’s operating system on Tuesday, October 29. The update is required to bring the file system up to current security and support levels. The maintenance will begin at 7 a.m. MDT and is expected to last until approximately 6 p.m. The GLADE system, Cheyenne and Casper clusters, HPSS tape library, data-access nodes, and the JupyterHub portal will be unavailable during the maintenance window although HPSS is expected to be returned to service by 11 a.m.

Active Globus transfers will be suspended as maintenance is performed; they will resume when GLADE is returned to service. System reservations on Cheyenne and Casper will prevent most batch jobs from executing after 7 a.m. that day. Batch jobs and login sessions that are still running at that time will be killed.

October 24, 2019

CISL will begin using the Jira Service Desk ticket system on Tuesday, October 29, to help users quickly find information or assistance they need. This system features a friendly user interface, simple request forms, and knowledge base articles that answer common questions. Users will log in with their UCAR usernames and CIT passwords. Individuals who do not have CIT passwords can request them by contacting CISL.

High-performance computing (HPC) system users will get support through a new “NCAR Research Computing” portal as described below. A “Staff Support” portal already in use by UCAR staff is being expanded, as well. Among other benefits, anyone needing support from both UCAR IT and CISL IT services will be able to find it in one place.

NCAR Research Computing portal

Through the NCAR Research Computing portal, the CISL User Services Section and High-end Services Section will support staff and external HPC users who need help working with Cheyenne, Casper, and related data-storage systems such as GLADE and Campaign Storage.

Staff Support portal

The Staff Support portal will serve CISL personnel and NCAR directorate staff who need workstation support, in addition to UCAR staff who need support for enterprise IT services that CISL operates. UCAR staff already use the portal to request help with UCAR IT services and business applications.

The new portals will replace the ExtraView ticketing system for most customer support tasks. However, NETS requests will still use netshelp@ucar.edu.