Frost Blue Gene/L system decommissioned after 7 years in service

June 13, 2012

On June 1, NCAR's Blue Gene/L system, Frost, stopped accepting compute jobs, thus ending the system's more than seven years of service to computational scientists from NCAR, the University of Colorado, Boulder, the former TeraGrid program, and other organizations.

The first rack of the Frost system was delivered March 15, 2005, and accepted March 28, 2005. Initially dedicated to collaborations between NCAR and CU-Boulder, Frost became available to TeraGrid users in July 2007. In September 2009, the system was augmented with three additional racks from the San Diego Supercomputer Center, bringing the system to its final configuration of 8,192 processors. As a single-rack system, Frost delivered approximately a million core-hours per month, which more than tripled following its expansion.

Frost completed its four years of TeraGrid service in July 2011. CISL was able to keep the system running to support a few NCAR and CU-Boulder collaborations, as well as to support the Asteroseismic Modeling Portal (AMP) gateway. Notably, since its TeraGrid retirement, usage of the six-year-old Frost increased, delivering more than 3 million core-hours per month on average to its small set of devoted users.

In total, Frost delivered more than 126 million core-hours to TeraGrid and non-TeraGrid over the 58 months since July 2007.

Frost's file systems will remain available to users through the end of June 2012 to provide access for data migration. Frost's users are being directed to other HPC opportunities, including the CU-NCAR Janus cluster, CISL's Bluefire and forthcoming Yellowstone, and XSEDE (successor to TeraGrid) systems.


Scheduled Maintenance for the Week of June 25 - June 29

June 28, 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

Bluefire login nodes outage CANCELLED for May 15

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.

XSEDE Training : Summer computational workshops offered to educators

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.

Bluefire to Yellowstone: Preparing for changes

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.

High Performance Computing Workshops May 22 - 25

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.

Mesa Lab/CISL Data Center Shutdown, Saturday, April 14

April 16, 2012

On Saturday, April 14 2012, the NCAR/CISL Data Center will be shut down for preventative maintenance on select infrastructure support systems. This is the normal Spring season down time for this purpose. Please note this activity is a complete shutdown with some minor exceptions listed below, scheduled for 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain Time.

The supercomputer systems will begin their shut down at 12:01 a.m. Mountain Time, and some computing systems, depending on their function, will begin their shutdown Friday afternoon/evening. Please make arrangements accordingly.

Once all maintenance work is completed, the systems will be brought back up in their order of dependency. CISL and Facilities Management and Sustainability maintain the twelve hour window to accomplish all tasks at hand.

Basic networking for phone service will be available for the Mesa Lab during most of this maintenance window, however, intermittent outages may occur.

For more information, contact CISL Help Desk at or 303-497-2400.

Globus Online now available for user data transfer

March 23, 2012

CISL now supports file transfers using the Globus Online interface, which simplifies and speeds the movement of data between CISL-managed resources and XSEDE facilities or other sites. The service also provides a feature called Globus Connect for easy transfers to and from laptop or desktop computers and other endpoints. For details, see our Globus Online documentation.

XSEDE Training: C Programming Basics March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

XSEDE Training at TACC: C Programming Basics
March 19, 2012
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (CT)
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
ROC 1.603
10100 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78758

*This class will be webcast.*

On Monday, March 19, the Texas Advanced Computing Center will present
the training session: C Programming Basics.

Basic C programming skills are essential for researchers in areas of
High Performance Computing. These skills can be directly applied to
resources at the Texas Advanced Computing Center and in any Linux/Unix
environment. This class is intended for the beginner wishing to gain
more experience in C programming.

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Overview of the important concepts related to C
syntax and programming.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Short lab with exercises showing how to compile
and run C code. Exercises (with solutions) will be included to show the
basic process of developing C programs.


Please submit any questions you may have via the Consulting section of
the XSEDE User Portal.


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