N8 HPC: Polaris reduced availability 25th and 27th April

N8 HPC will be affected on Tuesday 25th and Thursday 27th April by maintenance work on the chilled water system which is used to cool it.

It’s worth noting that Polaris will be considered “at risk” on those days. Furthermore, there may be periods where commands like “qstat” & “qsub” will fail and there may be pauses when accessing files while they apply operating system updates.

Additionally, the compute nodes will be unavailable on the 27th April and will be drained of jobs ahead of the work.

Please accept our apologies for the impact this might have on your research. If you have any problems or concerns, please get in touch via our Twitter @N8HPC

Call for Access to the European HPC Service (PRACE)

15th Call for Proposals for Project Access 
PRACE has recently announced its 15th call for proposals for Project Access. The current call provides access to various European Tier 0 systems from Bull, Cray, Lenovo and IBM. These comprise of a mixture of standard X86, Knights Landing and GPU platforms. Joint submissions from academia and industry are particularly welcome. Projects can involve single runs that scale on large numbers of cores (or accelerators) or analyses that require many runs on fewer cores (ensemble simulations). The deadline for submissions is 30th May 2017. Further details regarding the call can be found here.

Note that PRACE 2.0 (the second phase of the service) was recently launched and access to UK researchers is currently not affected by Brexit. The service comprises of 5 hosting partners who provide access to machines and 17 general partners who contribute to the operational costs. Of the general partners, the UK makes the largest yearly financial contribution to PRACE and therefore the research councils (EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC) are keen to see a return on this investment.

5th SHAPE Call
In addition, SHAPE is another PRACE initiative that aims to promote HPC uptake in SMEs. Academics and SMEs can apply together through a joint project. As well as access to PRACE systems, projects benefit from contributed PRACE support. It is strongly recommended that you contact the SHAPE team to discuss your proposal before submission. Further details regarding the call can be found here.

Good luck!

Functional materials discovery enabled by N8 HPC

Professor Andrew Cooper FRS (Cooper Group, University of Liverpool) is the co-author of a new paper, published on Wednesday in the leading, scientific journal Nature. Important to his and his team’s research was the use of the regional N8 HPC.

Their work, in collaboration with Professor Graeme Day’s group at the University of Southampton, introduces the concept of energy-structure-function (ESF) maps and demonstrates their power for the computationally led discovery of new materials. It’s a challenge for computers to generate abstract chemical design hypotheses or rules of thumb that may be intuitive to chemists. Their research outlines that ESF maps could open the door to more autonomous computer-aided material design schemes in the future, which could be used to in the discovery of functional solids.

Dr Linjiang Chen, a research associate from the University of Liverpool who made use of N8 HPC for materials property calculations in this study was complimentary of the N8 HPC, stating:

“The N8 HPC facilities, together with the local UoL ones, shared the whole workload of over 1,000,000 serial jobs. The particular things we appreciate about N8 HPC include its impressive computing capability and capacity, simple and straightforward application procedure for access, and the extremely accessible and helpful local support team.”

The research was funded by the EPSRC and undertaken in the UK, at the University of Liverpool and the University of Southampton. The research was undertaken by a talented, international team of researchers hailing from the UK, Spain, Poland, Canada, China and the USA. You can read the paper here, on Nature’s website.

ARCHER Porting & Optimisation Workshop at University of Birmingham on April 4th

The EPCC working with the University of Birmingham has an excellent opportunity to receive one-on-one guidance and individually tailored advice from high-performance computing specialists about how best to make use of ARCHER. Attendees will be given accounts on ARCHER for the workshop, with dedicated access on the day to significant portions of the machine. The workshop is designed to see if ARCHER is for your computing needs, or as a way of helping driving your research forward. However the workshop aims to also tackle other F.A.Q including:

  • How can I port existing software – be it my own code or a third-party application?
  • How do I learn more about data management?

    The workshop is open to anyone wanting to use ARCHER and it is not restricted to current users. The workshop is free but there’s a preference to encourage applications from small teams of collaborators!

For more information and to register please visit http://archer.ac.uk/training/
The registration form allows EU residents to apply for a travel bursary of up to £100 – register by Friday March 10th to be considered.

Collaborations Workshop 2017

The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshops series brings together everyone from the research software community from managers to funders and this year is looking like no exception. Boasting a diverse and well rounded set of events this year’s theme will be The Internet of Things (IoT) and Open Data: implications for research. All members of the research software community are invited to discuss and attend the Collaborations Workshop 2017 (CW17) on 27th-29th March, in Leeds. With Microsoft as their primary sponsor and featuring key note speakers such as: Usman Haque (the founder of Umbrellium) and  Tom Forth ( founder of imactive) the event is set to be both eye-opening and entertaining. As well as that with there are over 30 lightning talks planned, discussions with speed blogging, ideas sessions, networking, a social programme, Hackday and prizes will all take place at the breathtaking  Leeds University Business School. Sounds interesting? Follow this link to register for the event. Furthermore the primary sponsor Microsoft, have very kindly offered free IoT kits and Cloud time to the first 100 to registers! So don’t wait, register now!

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