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User Mailing

ICHEC Mail #42


Posted: 2009-08-21

Dear ICHEC users,


Contents:
1. Stoney system now available
2. Acknowledging ICHEC in publications / reporting publications
3. National Survey update
4. Stokes scheduling changes
5. PRACE update
6. Visualisation suite
7. Packages updates & VASP
8. NVIDIA conference paper
9. Upcoming training events
10. New documentation

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1 – Stoney system now available
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We are delighted to announce that stoney.ichec.ie is now available as
part of the national service. It is a Bull Novascale R422-E2 cluster with
64 compute nodes. Each compute node has two 2.8GHz Intel (Nehalem
EP) Xeon X5560 quad-core processors and 48GB of RAM.

Users may apply for time on the system via the normal process at:
http://www.ichec.ie/services/full_national_service
Given its faster processors a core hour on Stoney is taken to be
equivalent to 1.39 hours on Stokes.

Due to its significantly lower core count all requests to use Stoney must
be justified by a need for the increased amount of memory per core, 6GB
vs. 2GB, relative to Stokes which will continue to be the mainstay of the
national service.

Users who already have time allocated on Stokes who wish to take
advantage of Stoney's greater memory capacity can request via the
helpdesk that a portion of their time be transferred to Stoney.

More details can be found here: http://www.ichec.ie/infrastructure/stoney

The system was funded for Andy Shearer (NUI Galway) as part of the
DIAS-led e-INIS project. An agreement between ICHEC and NUI Galway
allows for a dedicated partition of the cluster to be available exclusively to
NUI Galway researchers, the remainder being available for the national
service, courtesy of Andy Shearer.


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2 – Acknowledging ICHEC in publications / reporting publications
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We would appreciate a formal acknowledgment of ICHEC by inclusion in
any resulting publications of the following sentence or some variation
thereof:

"The authors wish to acknowledge the SFI/HEA Irish Centre for High-End
Computing (ICHEC) for the provision of computational facilities and
support."

See http://www.ichec.ie/FAQ#44

We would also appreciate if you could let us know when such
publications are being accepted for publication, as this constitutes
one of the major metrics by which the scientific impact of ICHEC will
be assessed.

This list will be kept up to date at http://www.ichec.ie/publications


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3 – National Survey update
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We are very grateful to those of you who responded to our online national
survey over the course of the summer in all 217 responses were received.
In addition we expect to carry out a number of in-person interviews in the
coming weeks as people return from summer breaks. A report will be
published shortly thereafter.


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4 – Stokes scheduling changes
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The development queue has been altered so that a given user may only
run a single job in it at any given time. This is intended to discourage it
being used for large numbers of very short production jobs so that a short
turn around time can be maintained for development jobs.

A so called "bottom-feeder" feature has been enabled on a trial basis
pending full consultation with the Users Council. Class A or B projects
which have exhausted their allocated hours prior to the project's end date
can continue to avail of time on the system but such jobs will be queued
with a very low level of priority and can have a maximum runtime of 24 hours.


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5 – PRACE update
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You my be aware that two ICHEC users together with ICHEC computational
scientists were recently successful in their applications for development
time on PRACE prototype systems, some of the largest in Europe.

With future PRACE development and production time calls in mind ICHEC
is holding a short informal workshop on the topic at its Dublin office on
August 31st. Attendance is by invitation only, if you are interested in doing
so please get in touch.


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6 – Visualisation suite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ICHEC is currently commissioning a data visualisation suite at its Dublin
office. It features 3D projection, motion tracking and the necessary high
-end graphics workstations. The aim of this service is that ICHEC will
provide extensive assistance to users so they can benefit from the
technology without having to master its complexities. Once configured
for a user the suite can then be used on a drop-in basis.

If you are interested in discussing the technology or would like a demo do
not hesitate to contact us.


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7 – Package updates & VASP
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A significant development has been our acquisition of a special VASP
license. This allows us to now provide a centrally installed, optimised
and supported VASP installation. It also allows us to directly help users
with their own VASP build issues. Note that in order to use the ICHEC
VASP license users must still have their own VASP license.

ICHEC endeavours to keep its centrally installed packages up to date
however if you are aware of an important update to a package you use
which has been released but is not yet available in the ICHEC copy do
let us know and we will prioritise it.


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8 – NVIDIA conference paper
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Based on his research ICHEC computational scientist Christos Kartsaklis
will be presenting a paper entitled "GPU Computing in Java: Generation
and Scheduling of PTX Assembly" at the NVIDIA Developers Summit at
the end of next month.


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9 – Upcoming training events
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ICHEC will be holding a set of parallel programming courses at the
Tyndall National Institute from 5th-7th October (Introduction to MPI and
OpenMP). While primarily intended for those based at Tyndall there may
be some places available for others. Please get in touch with:
training@ichec.ie if you would like to attend or find out more information
about ICHEC's courses.


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10 – New documentation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two new tutorials have recently been added to the support section of the
ICHEC website, http://www.ichec.ie/support/tutorials/ . They are "Using
MKL, the Intel Math Kernel Library" and "Using Valgrind, detecting memory
errors" by Alin M Elena and Ivan Girotto respectively. We hope they prove
useful.

The 6th issue of the ICHEC newsletter was published in July it can be
found here: http://www.ichec.ie/ichec_news/6


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Previous User Mailings can be found at http://www.ichec.ie/newsletters
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Regards,

Michael Browne

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