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User Mailing

ICHEC mail #27


Posted: 2006-09-20

Dear ICHEC users,

Contents:

1. Maintenance session (downtime)
2. New resource thresholds
3. Programming environment (upgrade)
4. Third call for Class A applications
5. Important changes in accounting procedure (CosmoGrid users only)
6. Monthly report for August 2006

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1 – Maintenance session
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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 31 hours between 11:00 on Tuesday 26 September 2006 and 18:00 on Wednesday 27 September 2006.

Tasks include security and stability related software updates, hardware fixes for various nodes (Walton) and replacement memory and updates of Torque/Maui (Hamilton). Note that systems will not be kept off line any longer than necessary, and we expect user service to resume before 18:00.

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

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2 – New resource thresholds
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Also of interest to project PIs: the resource thresholds for Class A, B and C applications have been raised substantially since last month. PIs may avail from these additional resources by contacting us through the ICHEC helpdesk. See http://www.ichec.ie/news/1156172644.

"You can apply for an adjustment of the resources initially allocated to your project, up to the new levels specified in the above tables. So for instance if your project was a Class B project and had been allocated 70,000 CPU hours on walton, you may request up to 80,000 CPU hours. Additional resources gained through the "CosmoGrid rebate" are not taken into account, in other words, they remain "free" for your project.

Requests must be made by the project’s PI in person, through the ICHEC helpdesk (https://www.ichec.ie/helpdesk/). Create a new issue, with "Problem location" "Walton" or "Hamilton" as appropriate (if applying for changes on both systems, you will have to submit two issues separately) then "Problem category" as "Scheduling – query about accounts and CPU allocation". If you are the PI of more than one project, clearly indicate which project is concerned, and submit a new issue for each project."

Please refer to my original E-mail of 18/08/06 for further information.

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3 – Programming environment (upgrade)
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The Portland Group compilers have recently been upgraded to version 6.2-2 and the Pathscale compilers to version 2.5. We also have installed a new version of the GOTO BLAS library (1.06) under /opt/packages/path-compat/gotoblas and /opt/packages/gcc-compat/gotoblas on Walton. You may use these libraries either specifying the usual flags (-L /opt/packages/path-compat/gotoblas -lgoto), or by loading one of the modules gotoblas/gcc (default) or gotoblas/path.

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4 – Third call for Class A applications
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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 900,000 CPU hours
 - Storage resources: up to 600 GB
- Bull NS6320 shared memory (Hamilton)
 - Compute resources: up to 80,000 CPU hours
 - Storage resources: 120 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 31st October 2006, 6pm.

Five Class A applications have been received following the first two calls, two of which have been accepted. See the Research page at http://www.ichec.ie/research for further details.

Further information is available about the Full National Service, the Application guidelines and the Eligibility criteria can be found at the following URLs:

http://www.ichec.ie/full_national_service
http://www.ichec.ie/application_guidelines
http://www.ichec.ie/eligibility_criteria

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5 – Important changes in accounting procedure (reminder for CosmoGrid users)
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As of 1st August 2006, 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

Batch scripts using the old format will now be rejected.

See User mailing #24, item #6 - http://www.ichec.ie/newsletters/1153418423

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6 – Monthly report for August 2006
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Monthly reports for the National service can be found at http://www.ichec.ie/reports. The August 2006 report is now available on-line.

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