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User Mailing

ICHEC mail #24

Posted: 2006-07-20

Dear ICHEC users,


1. Maintenance session (downtime)
2. Changes to our programming environment
3. Acknowledging ICHEC in your publications
4. Call for Class B and Class C applications
5. Second call for Class A applications
6. Important changes in accounting procedure (CosmoGrid users only)

1 – Maintenance session

A number of maintenance tasks need to be performed requiring that both compute systems be taken offline. Both Walton and Hamilton will be offline for approximately 29 hours between 11:00 on Tuesday (25-07-2006) and 18:00 on Wednesday (26-07-2006).

See http://www.ichec.ie/status for up-to-date information.

2 – Changes to our programming environment

Walton’s programming environment has been updated as follows:

a/ Pathscale compilers – the MPICH2 library is now available for our installation of the Pathscale compilers. It can be loaded as follows:

module load pathscale
module load mpich2/path

Supporting libraries such as ACML are available from /opt/packages/path-compat/

b/ Portland Group compilers – our installation of the Portland compilers has been upgraded from version 6.0-5 to version 6.1-6. You can load the new environment with:

module load Portland

Supporting libraries (ACML, etc.) can be found under /opt/packages/pgi-compat/

The old version (6.0) will be removed from the login nodes in two weeks time, but left on the compute nodes for backwards compatibility.

c/ Gcc4 – version 4.1.1 of the gcc4 environment (which also includes the Fortran compiler gfortran) has been installed on Walton:

module load gcc4

We recommend using the Pathscale environment as your default environment.

3 – Acknowledging ICHEC in your publications

We would appreciate a formal acknowledgement 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 our FAQ.

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.

4 – Call for Class B and Class C applications

We would like to invite all users to publicise the services offered by ICHEC to their colleagues. The excellent job turn around time and the "CosmoGrid rebate" (see User Mailing #23) provide an ideal platform for production.

See http://www.ichec.ie/application_guidelines.

5 – Second call for Class A applications

Class A applications will typically be submitted by consortia concerned with "Grand Challenge" problems, and are expected to yield high-impact scientific publications. These groups will require resources representing a substantial fraction of the centre’s resources over a long period. As such, we only anticipate supporting a total of 7 such projects over the lifetime of the service.

Applicants considering applying for a Class A project are expected to have a good knowledge of the characteristics of the code(s) which they intend to use – such as scalability properties – before writing their proposal. For this reason, applicants who are not in such a position are advised to first apply for Class C access in order to undertake a basic scalability and performance study. Such an exercise is essential to provide an accurate estimate and a proper justification of the resources requested. If you intend to use packages supported by ICHEC, you may contact us via the helpdesk as we can assist you in this task.

Key characteristics of Class A project:

- Maximum duration: 24 months
- IBM 1350 cluster (Walton)
 - Compute resources: up to 650,000 CPU hours
 - Storage resources: up to 500 GB
- Bull NS6320 shared memory (Hamilton)
 - Compute resources: up to 40,000 CPU hours
 - Storage resources: 100 GB

Applications will be peer-reviewed to international standards and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within 12 weeks of the closing date. The deadline for class A applications is Tuesday 1st August 2006, 6pm.

Five Class A applications have been received following the first call, two of which have been accepted. See the Research page for further details.

Further information can be found at http://www.ichec.ie/full_national_service. A copy of the application guidelines can be found at http://www.ichec.ie/application_guidelines.

6 – Important changes in accounting procedure (CosmoGrid users only)

The increased utilisation of Walton by the CosmoGrid Consortium required a small change in our accounting procedure. All CosmoGrid jobs should now be charged against the generic CosmoGrid account "cosmogrid" by specifying in their batch script:

#PBS -A cosmogrid

instead of using:

#PBS -A cg0XX

You may switch to the new format straight away. Batch scripts using the old format will be rejected from 1st August.

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