2018 will see a period of change within N8 HPC. The current machine, Polaris is five years old, increasingly expensive to maintain and is comprised of dated hardware – it is approaching end of life and is due to be switched off on the 17th July 2018.
The 8 member universities of N8 HPC have been in consultation for the past year as to how to proceed after this point. Three universities (Lancaster, Manchester and York) are planning to jointly fund and procure a new cluster. This will be hosted at Durham, who will receive 5% of available resources in return. There will also be an investment in cloud-based resources by Manchester and Leeds. (Sharing of resources will allow users from Lancaster and York access to cloud cycles and users from Leeds access to the new cluster.)
Users at Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield are advised to contact their local N8 HPC TMG representative to discuss resource availability.
All 8 universities will be contributing to a N8 HPC Centre of Excellence which will accelerate progress in areas of research that are of strategic importance to the N8 partners, including some that have not made heavy use of technology in the past. Led by academics, each area will identify software tools, methodology, expertise etc that could benefit each research area. A research roadmap will be developed for each selected theme, identifying key opportunities for us to accelerate progress, proposing a joint programme of work, and building a community of practice.
Further announcements will be made on the N8 HPC Users mailing list, website and Twitter feed, regarding removing your data from Polaris, queue shutdown, etc., which will be before the middle of July.
If you have any questions about your institution’s involvement in N8 HPC going forward, please contact your Steering Group member.