NeSI's new platforms

21 September 2018

Thank you for your patience while we have been readying Maui to replace Kupe services for NeSI research projects. Maui is now ready for NeSI users to access.

There are some important differences between Kupe and Maui, and you will need to understand these in order to have a smooth transition.
Please carefully read the following material before logging onto Maui:
Transitioning to Maui – Everything you need to know.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this message, or the support documentation, please feel free to contact the support team.

We look forward to supporting your research on the new High Performance Computing Facility!

28 August 2018

Thank you for your patience as we have carried out NeSI's biggest ever infrastructure deployment and refreshed our HPC Compute and Analytics service. We are now very close to moving you from Kupe to Maui, our new capability platform.

  • We expect to have Maui Services available from the end of the first week of September - there will be some changes in the configuration of Maui Services compared to those on Kupe - but we will document these for you before you make the move.
    • Changes to your workflows should be minimal.
  • Closer to that date we will let you know when you should start using Maui, rather than Kupe.
  • Your home, project and nobackup directories will be synchronised to Maui before this date.
    • Personal directories on nobackup (e.g. /nesi/nobackup/<username> etc.) will not be supported on Maui. Data held in these directories on Kupe will be synchronised to Maui, but with Read Only permissions. Users can then move their files to the relevant project directory.
  • In the meantime - please review support information available on NeSI’s user support portal.

If you have any questions about the new platforms, please email support@nesi.org.nz.

10 August 2018

We reached a big milestone this week on the refresh of NeSI's new platforms and services. All active users of the Pan platform were invited to begin their transition across to the new NeSI platform Mahuika.

A few key points in regards to this:

  • Pan user access will be ending on Friday the 31st of August 2018, all current Pan projects have been migrated across to Mahuika and researchers have now been asked to register on the new platform.
  • Training is currently underway for researchers who would like some assistance to get on the new platforms. For those researchers that have missed an on-site session, there are still training opportunities and self-help materials.
  • We have also upgraded our support material which has been published and made available to researchers.
  • We are currently planning for the migration of users and their data from the NIWA platform Kupe (which has provided excellent service) to Maui.

If you have any questions about the new platforms, please email support@nesi.org.nz.

18 July 2018

On 17 July, NeSI hosted a Q&A Webinar to share a brief update on the status of the new platforms and to answer any questions users may have about the timeline and next steps. We expect to begin moving users onto the new platforms starting the week of 23 July.

If you missed the webinar, click the links below to:

If you have any questions about the new platforms, please email support@nesi.org.nz.

 

User training dates confirmed & registration now open

We have finalised most of our dates for user training sessions to help you get started on NeSI new platforms. These sessions will be introductory and cover the basics of getting started on NeSI's new platforms - Mahuika and Māui.

  • 06 August -- Auckland, University of Auckland, Owen G. Glenn Building, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm -- Register here
  • 07 August -- Christchurch, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Waikirikiri Room, Lincoln, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm -- Register here
  • 10 August -- Hamilton, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, University of Waikato, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm -- Register here
  • 10 August -- Dunedin, University of Otago, ITS Leith Building, 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm -- Register here
  • 16 August -- Auckland, University of Auckland, 70 Symonds Street, 1:00 - 5:00 pm -- Register here
  • 16 August -- Wellington, NIWA Office, 1:00 - 5:00 pm -- Register here
  • 20 August -- Online session, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm -- Register here (intended for researchers located in cities / regions that won't have an in-person session, or for those who can't attend the in-person session as scheduled)

For more information on these sessions, click here or email support@nesi.org.nz.

Join us for an online User Q&A webinar on 17 July 2018 to get brought up to date on our platform refresh and what's going to happen in the next few weeks to move users onto the new systems. Click here to register for the webinar. Connection information will be sent to all registrants.

Other topics we'll cover include:

  • finalised dates for user training (curriculum is posted here)
  • next steps for migration of user and project data
  • where & how to get support

If you have questions, send an email to events@nesi.org.nz

 

User Update - July 2018

It has been a busy month at NeSI as our teams have been preparing the new platforms for your projects. Over the last few weeks, we have made great strides in moving user’s data from Auckland to Wellington, installing scientific applications, and bedding down the new processes that will help us manage and support users on Mahuika and Maui. Unfortunately, June also brought some unforeseen delays related to one of the new technology components, resulting in our initial setup phase taking longer than expected. Those issues have since been resolved and we are back on track to get users onto the platforms within the next few weeks. We apologise for this unexpected change in timeline.

We are pleased to report that we are now entering the home stretch and expect to begin welcoming users onto the new platforms by late July.

User training sessions

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in attending our training sessions. We will be announcing the dates & times at our upcoming User Q&A Webinar on 17 July. Click here to register! Note: these training sessions will be introductory and cover the basics of getting started on the platforms. All training materials will also be documented and available on Github and linked to a new User Support portal on the NeSI WebSite (which will replace the existing user support pages).

New project applications

Effective immediately, all new project applications will be assessed for allocation on Mahuika or Maui, with expected start dates in August. This will enable these new projects to be among the first users accessing our new platforms, but it also means that any delays in bringing Mahuika online will inevitably delay a new project’s allocation start date. If you have questions about this, please contact support@nesi.org.nz. Note: If you have an existing active project with an allocation that is due to expire in July, we are assessing renewal requests on a case-by-case basis. Please contact support@nesi.org.nz for more information.

 

Pre-register for user training on new platforms

June 07, 2018

In preparation for helping users get started on Mahuika and Maui, NeSI will host a series of training sessions. These will likely happen in July. To help us plan the number and locations of these sessions, we're polling interest from the user community: 

Click here to pre-register

Session Details:

These sessions will be introductory and cover the basics of getting started. New users are strongly encouraged to attend!

Example topics include:

  • Important changes from the old platforms
  • Accessing the machines
  • Data transfer and file systems
  • Finding installed software
  • Submitting jobs with Slurm
  • Building code

Note: These training materials will also be documented and available on Github for reference and self-serve support.

If you have any questions regarding training, please email support@nesi.org.nz

 

Upcoming freeze of new projects on Pan

May 17, 2018

In preparation for moving to the new platforms, there will be a period where we will not accept new projects on Pan. This will likely begin in early to mid-July, once the new platforms are brought online.

We will continue to accept applications for new NeSI projects through this period, but they will be provisioned on the new platforms in July (or later if a delayed start is appropriate).

If you have a currently active project with an allocation on Pan, and that allocation is due to expire in June, you can request a new allocation by emailing support@nesi.org.nz. We will consider requests for new allocations on active projects on a case-by-case basis.

If we do not offer you a new allocation on Pan, we will consider your project for an allocation on one of our new clusters. If you have questions about this, please email support@nesi.org.nz.

May 04, 2018

We are getting closer to Maui and Mahuika being live and available for use by NeSI projects. More information on the new service enhancements, such as two-factor authentication, will be shared in the coming weeks.

With the odd exception, all current NeSI projects on Pan will be migrated to our new capacity platform, Mahuika. Below are some details related to migration:

  • We are currently aiming to open access to Mahuika and Maui by late June 2018, at which point you will be able to login and run jobs. This access date is dependent upon a number of factors, and may need to change. We will notify you when a date is confirmed. In the meantime, you can continue working on Pan.
  • You will have access to both Pan and Mahuika for at least one week after the first date of access. This transition period will allow you to gain confidence working on Mahuika and confirm that your data has been migrated to Mahuika before access to Pan is closed.
  • Your home and project directories on Pan will be synchronised to Mahuika up until the day you are migrated to Mahuika.
  • Projects that span the transition from Pan to Mahuika will be transferred, taking account of: usage to date, NeSI’s Allocation aging policy, and the change in performance between Pan’s CPUs and those on Mahuika.
  • Confirmation of User Training Sessions and related documentation will be confirmed soon. 
  • A new User Support Portal will provide extensive information on NeSI processes, the new HPCs, storage management, scientific programming environment, job scheduling policies and practice, and user support.

More information related to migration and the new platforms will be provided closer to the changeover date.

We are aiming to make this transition as easy as possible. If you have any concerns, reach out to us at support@nesi.org.nz.

 

April 23, 2018

On April 20, NeSI hosted a Q&A Webinar to share a brief update on the status of the new platforms and to answer any questions users may have about the timeline and next steps. If you missed the webinar, click the links below to:

Our next New Platforms Q&A webinar will be scheduled for mid-June. Once a date is confirmed, we will advertise it via email and with a post on this page. If you have any questions between now and then, please email support@nesi.org.nz.

 

April 20, 2018

On April 19, NeSI hosted a webinar for Kupe users that shared some tips and tricks for getting the most out of the platform. If you missed the webinar, click the links below to:

If you have additional questions about using Kupe, contact support@nesi.org.nz. Stay tuned for further 'Tips & Tricks' webinars once the new platforms go live in June.

 

April 09, 2018

NeSI is currently on track to provide user access to the new platforms in July, as both Maui and Mahuika have been successfully installed, passed scientific benchmark acceptance tests, and tailoring and configuration of the systems for NeSI use is well advanced.

Interested in this training? Pre-register here. These sessions will likely be held in July. They will be hands-on and allow users to interact with the platforms and walk through steps such as how to log in, submit jobs, transfer data, use the scheduler, and more.

The training dates have not yet been finalised as they depend on when we can complete the tailoring and configuration of the machines. Once confirmed, they will be advertised widely.

Below is a provisional outline of the training topics we plan to cover:

Topic

You Will Learn:

Audience

Maui and Mahuika:
What is the difference?

- Differences between the two machines and what types of jobs are most suited to them

- Different types of nodes that are available (multipurpose nodes, etc)

All Users

Accessing Maui and Mahuika: Intro to the myNeSI user portal

- How to set up two factor authentication

- How to login to the machines

All Users

File systems, directories and quotas: Where should I put my data?

- What the different file systems are

- What they should be used for

- What the quotas are on the different file systems

All Users

Data Transfer: Intro and Tips

- How to transfer small amounts of data to and from the system

- How to transfer large amounts of data

- How to bypass the lander node when copying data

All Users

Finding software on the clusters (modules)

- How NeSI supports software (software tiers)

- How to search for and load installed software

- How to request help installing software

All Users

Installing packages locally (e.g. Python and R)

- How to install Python packages in your home directory

- How to install R packages in your home directory

- Tips for building generic packages in your home directory

All Users

Slurm: Submitting jobs using a scheduler

- How to write a Slurm job script

- How to submit jobs (serial, OpenMP, MPI and hybrid) to the different partitions

- How to check the status of running and completed jobs

All Users

Managing my NeSI Project

- How to track your resource usage

- How to request access for collaborators

- What happens to your allocations over time

All Users

Building code on Maui:
The Cray XC programming environment

- How to compile code (Fortran, C, C++) using the Cray Programming Environment (compiler drivers)

- How to link against libraries

Users developing and building their own software

Building code on Mahuika:
The Cray CS programming environment

- How to compile code (Fortran, C, C++) using the default EasyBuild toolchains

- How to link against libraries

Users developing and building their own software

How to get help and next steps

- How to file a ticket

- How to get help porting or optimising code

- Who to ask about advanced training

All Users

If you have questions about user training or anything related to the platforms refresh, contact support@nesi.org.nz.

April 06, 2018

NeSI is hosting a short Q&A webinar later this month to share an update on the platform refresh activities to date, and to answer any questions users may have about next steps in this project. Please join us online if you have questions related to:

  • User training on the new platforms
  • User & project migration from Pan / Kupe to Mahuika / Maui
  • Capabilities and/or features of Mahuika / Maui
  • General questions about the new platforms

RSVP by clicking the link below. The webinar connections details will be sent to all RSVPs.

Friday, April 20
1:00 - 1:45 pm
Click here to RSVP

If you have any questions about the platform refresh, email support@nesi.org.nz. 

 

Mar 02, 2018

Over the next few weeks, we will be installing NeSI’s new systems, Mahuika and Maui. Once these systems are ready, the NeSI team will begin copying and synchronising all Pan users’ and project teams’ data to the new shared storage. This copying process involves transferring more than 200 TB of research data in tens of millions of files over the REANNZ network. In order to reduce the impact of this operation on the Pan filesystem, this will take some weeks to complete.

To help us complete the copying process as smoothly and quickly as possible, we ask you to take the following steps by Friday 16 March:

  • Review your project files and directories to clean up and remove any duplicated or unneeded files, or project files you have finished working with on Pan.
    Specifically:
    • If you have any project data stored on Pan that you no longer require, please move it to your own local storage and/or delete it.
    • Remove any checkpoint files or intermediate files from completed jobs, as well as unneeded output and/or error files.
    • Consider deleting any large data files that can easily be regenerated.
       
  • Consider making a local backup of your important data.
    NeSI will copy your data over to the new systems, but if you have critical software and/or research data stored on Pan’s filesystems that you are particularly concerned about, we encourage you to make a local backup.
     
  • If you wish to reorganise your files and directories, please do so before Friday 16 March.
     

After Friday 16 March we will not grant increases to disk space or inode (file count) allocations on Pan, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Your assistance during this migration is appreciated and will help us get you started on the new systems.

If you have any questions about how to prepare your data or about migration in general, please email our support team at support@nesi.org.nz.

 

Feb 13, 2018

On February 7, NeSI hosted a User Q&A webinar to share an update on the refresh of its platforms and to answer user questions about the new systems. If you missed the session, you can:

Looking ahead, our activities over the next few months include:

  • February 2018 — Great Point (NIWA) Data Centre renovations & upgrades begin
  • Late February 2018 — Installation of Mahuika and Maui begins
  • March - May 2018 — User training events & documentation shared for Mahuika and Maui
  • Early May 2018 — Maui and Mahuika handed over to NeSI
  • May 2018 — Project migration begins. Pan users move to Mahuika. Kupe users move to Maui.

We plan to host another User Q&A webinar before the systems are brought online in May. We will post more information here when the date and time are confirmed. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email support@nesi.org.nz.

 

Jan 24, 2018

NeSI is hosting an online User Q&A Session to provide a brief update on the project status to date and to offer users an opportunity to ask questions about the new platforms. NeSI’s Consultancy Team experts will be on-hand to answer questions related to:

  • installation timelines
  • project migration 
  • user training 

Click the links below to register for the session. Webinar connection details will be sent to all registrants.

If you have questions or would like more information on this User Q&A session, contact events@nesi.org.nz. Previously, we hosted a webinar on the features and capabilities of the incoming systems. If you missed that session, you can:

Jan 16, 2018

FitzRoy is no longer accessible to users. The NeSI/NIWA team have shut down the system and the deinstallation process has begun. Over the next month, the High Performance Computing Facility that housed FitzRoy will be renovated and upgraded to prepare for the arrival and installation of Maui and Mahuika in late February.

If you have questions about our platform refresh, contact support@nesi.org.nz(link sends e-mail) or visit our FAQs.

Removal of FitzRoy
Attribution: 
The NeSI/NIWA team removing FitzRoy, which has supported users since 2010.

 

Dec 20, 2017

FitzRoy users have been successfully migrated to Kupe, which will provide temporary supercomputer services until all NeSI users are moved onto Mahuika and Maui in the new year. The renovation and upgrade of the High Performance Computing Facility plant at Greta Point is underway and the installation of Mahuika and Maui will begin in February. We expect to begin migrating and training users on those new NeSI systems in early 2018. For a more detailed status update, click here

If you have questions about our platform refresh, contact support@nesi.org.nz(link sends e-mail) or visit our FAQs. Tips and documentation for using Kupe can be found here.

Dec 1, 2017

The NeSI team is in the midst of setting up setting-up Kupe (HPC3), the transition machine for FitzRoy users, and migrating users. NeSI and NIWA users of FitzRoy will already have been contacted via email about the details of the migration. If you have not heard from us on this, please contact us as soon as possible via support@nesi.org.nz.

Support materials for Kupe are here and are being updated regularly.

During October we presented the capacbilities of the new system via webinar. If you missed one of these sessions you can watch the recording here.

Transition to our new platforms

NeSI is in the process of installation of our new platforms. The next phase will be to get the new machines up and running and researchers transitioned over. After all users have been successfully migrated, the old platforms will no longer be supported.

Below are some important dates that we are working towards:

FitzRoy (P6) users

  • December 2017 –  Migration of users from FitzRoy
    • This migration is currently underway and those effected will have been contacted via email. If you use FitzRoy and have not been contacted, please let us know as soon as possible via support@nesi.org.nz.

Pan (x86) users

  • Early 2018 – Training workshops on new platforms
  • Early 2018 – Migration of users from Pan

We look forward to working with you to make your transition to the new platforms as streamlined as possible and minimise the impact on your research.

If you have any questions at all about the migration or impact on your project, please contact the team at support@nesi.org.nz.

On June 8 NeSI announced a new integrated supercomputing platform to power computational and data intensive research in New Zealand. Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced the joint investment by NeSI and NIWA at the signing of a six-year contract worth $31.7 million with global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. This investment replaces and expands NeSI’s national compute and data platform, extending its scope and performance to meet changing needs, and will be commissioned by early 2018.

Read more here.

Since signing the contract with Cray, our combined teams have been refining the design of the new High Performance Computing (HPC) systems, and the services they will provide. Here are the current and future features and technical specifications of the new NeSI HPC systems and how these could benefit research.

Cray CS400
Attribution: 
Cray CS400
Cray XC50
Attribution: 
Cray XC50