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User Mailing

ICHEC Mail #50

Posted: 2013-09-16

Dear ICHEC users,

1. Ministerial Launch
2. Stokes Replacement Progress Update
3. ICHEC Launch Two Outreach Competitions
4. PRACE 8th Project Access Call (Tier-0) Announcement
5. PRACE Preparatory Access Call Announcement
6. PRACE Award to Dr. Turlough Downes
7. Upcoming Training Events
8. PRACE Summer of HPC

1 Ministerial Launch

On July 4th it was ICHEC's pleasure to host a ministerial launch of its current
3 year funding cycle (2013-2015), by Minister Seán Sherlock TD, Minister for
Research and Innovation, at an event held in the Royal Irish Academy. Other
speakers at the event were Prof. Attracta Ingram (Senior Vice-President, Royal
Irish Academy), Mr. John Hennessy (Chairman, Higher Education Authority), Prof.
Martin Curley (Vice President & Director, Intel Labs Europe, Intel Corp.), Prof.
JC Desplat (Director, ICHEC), Mr. Joe Mongan (Global Manager Geophysical
Technology, Tullow Oil), and Prof. Jim Greer (Head of Tyndall Graduate Studies,
Tyndall Institute and Chairman of the ICHEC Science Council).

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and the Department of Education
& Skills with the involvement of the Higher Education Authority and Science
Foundation Ireland jointly provided the funding. ICHEC will continue to be
hosted by NUI Galway. We look forward to continuing our support of the Irish
research community and working with SMEs and multi-nationals to solve their
compute and data analytics/management problems.

More detail of the launch including pictures from the event can be found here:

2 Stokes Replacement Progress Update

The physical installation of the replacement machine for Stokes by the
manufacturer is currently underway. It will be hosted in the TSSG data centre
in the Waterford Institute of Technology. After an extensive procurement
process SGI was selected as the preferred vendor, the same vendor as Stokes.

The new system is a hybrid machine made up of four components: Thin, Hybrid,
Fat and Service. The thin component has 320 nodes each with 2x12 cores 2.4GHz
Intel Ivy Bridge and 64GB RAM - (7690 cores and 20TB RAM in total). The
interconnect is FDR InfiniBand. The Hybrid component is made of of 32 nodes
each with 2x10 cores 2.2GHz Intel Ivy Bridge and 64GB RAM. Half these nodes will
have two Intel Xeon Phi 5110Ps each while the other half will have two NVIDIA
Tesla K20Xs each. The Fat or shared memory component is a SGI UV2000 node with
112 cores (Intel Sandy Bridge), 2 Intel Xeon Phi 5110Ps and 1.7TB RAM.

The final component is the service area where users can log onto the system and
run jobs across all components. The storage is provided by Data Direct Networks
and will provide 560TB using a Lustre filesystem. This new system will quadruple
the current compute power available to scientists in Ireland. We are looking
forward to opening the new resource to the research community in Ireland.

The system will undergo extensive testing in the coming weeks. A transition
plan is in place to move projects and users from Stokes. We will be in touch
in the coming weeks with an update. No action is required at this point from
the users.

We would invite users to begin preparation of proposals to harness the new
infrastructure which will allow users to run diverse workflows taking into
account the potential to both scale out (calculations that require larger core
counts) and up (jobs that could use more shared memory). The latter is a new
feature currently not available to Stokes users.

I would invite PIs interested in applying for resources on the new system to
contact me directly (martin.peters@ichec.ie) with any queries you may have.

3 ICHEC Launch Two Outreach Competitions

With the procurement of the new national supercomputer we have opened the naming
of the machine to primary and secondary students in Ireland:


Here we describe the names of the previous systems and we encourage students to
find out more about computing and the largest machines in the world. The competition
will run until the end of September. We would encourage you to pass the details
of the competition to friends and family so they have a chance to name our
supercomputer and win some great prizes that will be given out during Science Week
in November plus a trip to see the actual machine in Waterford!

The second competition is aimed at primary and secondary students who like to code:


We've created a coding competition to encourage young coders to learn about
parallel programming or the tool used to harness the compute power of
supercomputers. Lots of information is available from the site including
example code and web links to find all the information required to complete the
coding challenge. Again please spread the word about this competition.

Finally, we've created a new video to highlight the use of supercomputing:
Please share the link if you like it.

4 PRACE 8th Project Access Call (Tier-0) Announcement

This Call for Proposals targets large-scale, computationally intensive projects
that would not be possible or productive without access to PRACE resources.

Applications for Project Access must use codes that have been previously tested
and that demonstrate high scalability and optimisation to multi-core architectures
or that demonstrate a requirement for ensemble simulations that need a very large
amount of CPU overall.

The Terms of Reference for the 8th Call for Proposals for PRACE Project Access
can be found here:
The accompanying Technical Guidelines can be found here:

The systems available for Project Access are:
Curie, Bull Bullx cluster (GENCI@CEA, France)
Fermi, IBM Blue Gene/Q (CINECA, Italy)
Hermit, Cray XE6 (GCS@HLRS, Germany)
JUQUEEN, IBM Blue Gene/Q (GCS@Jülich, Germany)
MareNostrum, IBM System X iDataplex (BSC, Spain)
SuperMUC, IBM System X iDataplex (GCS@LRZ, Germany)

The schedule for the next Call for Proposals for PRACE Project Access is:

Call opens: 3 September 2013, 12:00 (noon) CEST (Brussels Time)
Call closes: 15 October 2013, 12:00 (noon) CEST (Brussels Time)
Administrative Validation: 18 October 2013
Applicant responses received: 13 January 2014
Allocation Decision: 17 February 2014
Tier-0 Access, for 1 year allocation: 4 March 2014 until 3 March 2015

ICHEC would also like to advise of the extra incentive for scientists to apply
for Tier-0 resources. All successful applicants will be awarded an additional
10% of their core hours allocation (normalisation factors will be applied) on
the national systems capped at a maximum of 4M core hours. Access to these
national resources will start by February 2014 and finish in May
2015. These additional resources will facilitate researchers to carry out
pre- and post-processing of data that would otherwise not be available within
a PRACE award. Note, additional resources will not be provided to successful
PRACE preparatory access or DECI applicants. A DECI call is expected to open
in late October.

I would invite PIs interested to contact me directly (martin.peters@ichec.ie)
with any queries you may have.

5 PRACE Preparatory Access Call Announcement

Preparatory access is intended for testing and developing codes in order to
prepare applications for PRACE Tier-0 project access. In particular, we would
like to draw your attention to the Preparatory Access Type C which includes code
development with support from PRACE experts. Further information are given on
the PRACE web page:


The Preparatory Access Call is a rolling call, researchers can apply for access
all year. There are no closing dates, proposals will be reviewed every third
month. The next cutoff date is December 2, 2013, 11:00 CET.

I would invite PIs interested to contact me directly (martin.peters@ichec.ie)
with any queries you may have.

6 PRACE Award to Dr. Turlough Downes

ICHEC is delighted report that a team lead by Dr. Turlough Downes of Dublin City
University has been awarded 16.3 Million Core hours through the PRACE
7th Regular Call for a proposal entitled: MF-DISK: Protoplanetary disk
dynamics: the multifluid magneto-rotational instability, gaps and jets. In
addition Dr. Downes was awarded a class B project on Stokes to carry out pre-
and post-processing calculations.

His collaborators are Wayne O'Keeffe DCU, Donna Rogers DIAS, Aleks Scholz DIAS
and Gilles Civario of ICHEC. The computer time has been awarded on the JUQUEEN
system at the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing in Jülich, Germany. This is
currently the fastest computer in Europe with a performance of greater than
5 Petaflops.

Also in this call Prof. John Bulava of Trinity College Dublin is a collaborator
in another successful proposal lead by Stefan Schaefer of CERN. This project is
in the area of Quantum Chromodynamics.

The PRACE Regular Calls are held every 6 months, they are open to researchers
across Europe and are extremely competitive. Irish researchers interested in
pursuing resources via PRACE are encouraged to contact ICHEC in advance to
discuss their application. Successful Irish Regular Call applications are now
automatically entitled to the equivalent of 10 percent of the award on ICHEC
systems to support local work on the project.

More details on these and other successful projects can be found here:



7 Upcoming Training Events

To coincide with the new system we are planning to hold training events in the
coming months to introduce the new system and how best to harness its capability.
Please e-mail training@ichec.ie if you wish to be kept informed of the details
or if you wish to enquire about hosting ICHEC courses at your institution.

8 PRACE Summer of HPC

The PRACE Summer of HPC (SoHPC) student placement programme was held over
Summer 2013. It was designed and managed by ICHEC within the PRACE-3IP FP7
project. 24 students of accredited universities were selected and spent two
months in HPC centres in PRACE partner countries.

One Irish Student was selected, Caoimhín Laoide-Kemp, who traveled to
Serbia to work with Prof. Antun Balaz on the electronic structure of C60:

Check out a video of his work here:

ICHEC hosted three Students:
Alba Pedro-Zapater from Spain, worked with Dr. Paul Nolan on
Visualising Large OpenFOAM Models using Paraview:

Maria Aston Serrano Gracia also from Spain, worked will Dr Michael Lysaght on
Profiling the hybrid Molecular Dynamics code, DL_POLY, on heterogeneous clusters:

Antonios Karkatsoulis from Greece, worked with Mr. Alastair McKinstry
on Scalable visualization of Climate data using OPeNDAP-enabled Paraview:


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

If you would like to stay up to date with all activities at ICHEC please
follow our twitter or facebook accounts:


Finally, the ICHEC Team would like to take this opportunity to wish you the
best for the 2013/2014 academic year.

Dr. Martin Peters
User support Activity Leader

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