MSI Users Bulletin – June 2019

The Users Bulletin provides a summary of new policies, procedures, and events of interest to MSI users. It is published quarterly.

To request technical assistance with your MSI account, please contact

1. Galaxy and Galaxy-P Storage: MSI is changing its policy on data storage in Galaxy. Rather than counting against PI storage quotas, data stored on Galaxy/Galaxy-P will have its own quota.

The following changes were made during the June maintenance period:

  • Galaxy and Galaxy-P now use Second Tier Storage as a data store. During computation, the fast PANFS file system is used as a cache, but Second Tier Storage is used for long-term data storage.
  • Galaxy and Galaxy-P data no longer counts against a PI's MSI quota.
  • Galaxy and Galaxy-P still have an internal quota administered by the application.
    • All users receive an initial 2 TB quota allocation.
    • An additional allocation can be requested via an email to
    • Users that exceeded the 2 TB quota limit (at the maintenance window) have already been given an additional quota allocation.  
  • There has been no change to the sequencing file process, or the data agreements around the sequencing data files.
    • We will continue to link sequencing files into Galaxy-P as before.

2. Transition to Slurm: MSI has begun working on an implementation plan for Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management (Slurm) for job scheduling and resource management. Slurm would replace our current resource management/job scheduling utility, Adaptive Computing’s PBS Torque/Moab. Slurm is an open-source utility that is widely used at national research centers, higher education research centers, government institutions, and other research institutions across the globe. Our target implementation date for this transition is January 1, 2021.

3. MSI Leadership Changes: MSI’s Associate Director of Operations, Jeff McDonald, will be leaving MSI on August 1 to take a position at the Hormel Institute. Jeff has been with MSI since 2010, and his leadership and expertise will be sorely missed. While we are sad to see Jeff go, we are happy to announce that Graham Allan will be taking Jeff's place as lead for the Advanced Systems Operations group. Graham has been a member of MSI since 2016 and has extensive experience managing and deploying advanced HPC environments. Before coming to MSI, Graham led the research and IT infrastructure team in the School of Physics and Astronomy. Jeff and Graham are working together now to ensure a smooth transition of leadership following Jeff's departure in August. 

4. Citrix Transition: MSI has decommissioned its Windows Citrix environment in favor of OIT’s Citrix AppsToGoWeb infrastructure. If you don’t already have access to MSI’s new OIT desktops at, request access at The old infrastructure has been shut down.

5. Itasca Decommissioning: In November 2018, MSI announced a timeline for the decommissioning of Itasca. Due to high utilization and heavy demand, this decommissioning has been delayed. MSI is working to update the decommissioning timeline and will notify users once a new retirement date is finalized. 

Itasca will still need to be decommissioned, so MSI encourages users to continue the transition to Mesabi. 

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact MSI Help through the Support Request form, via email to, or by calling 612-626-0802.

6. Summer Tutorials: The summer tutorial schedule can be found in the Events section of the MSI website.

Tutorials are also live-streamed on the MSI YouTube channel. Tutorials can also be viewed on the channel afterwards.

7. Programming and Pizza: Experienced programmers from Libraries, Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services, and Research Computing are available to help you out with your programming issues. Programming and Pizza sessions are held monthly at the Wilson Research Collaboration Studio (first floor, Wilson Library). Sessions are free, but you must sign up. The schedule through the summer is available on the DASH website.

8. Jobs at MSI:

9. Useful Webpages: Looking for help with using MSI? One of these pages may have the information you need:

a. Services available at MSI

b. Getting Started (includes Quickstart Guides)

c. MSI Systems

d. Systems Status

e. Software at MSI

f. Help and Documentation

g. Staff Listing and Areas of Expertise

h. Upcoming Events and Tutorials

i. Proposal Support