MSI Users Bulletin – September 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. Mangi: The project to upgrade Mesabi with the new Mangi expansion is progressing. The Mangi racks are currently being built and prepared by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The expected delivery date to MSI is Monday, October 28, 2019. Once the racks are delivered, MSI and HPE staff will begin setup and configuration, a process that should take four weeks. 

Mangi will add 160 AMD EPYC nodes and double the number of cores in Mesabi. Each of the new nodes will have 256 GB of memory and 128 cores. In addition to these nodes, MSI will also install 17 nodes with a total of 48 NVIDIA V100 GPUs. While the racks are being built, MSI staff are working with UMN Facilities to prepare the data center for the new machine. MSI staff are also preparing queue configurations, documentation, and other internal processes.

2. Annual Account Renewal Deadline, December 2: The deadline for annual MSI account renewals is December 2. PIs and Group Administrators will receive email notification when the renewal period is open, on or about November 1. Renewals are submitted using the myMSI portal. Renewal by December 2 ensures continued MSI access through the following calendar year.

3. Software License Reservations: MSI has set up a new system for reserving software packages that have a limited number of licenses. With the new system, you can submit an online form with your email, start and end times that you’d like to use the software, and any additional notes or questions. You can also see a reservations calendar for the software, so you can tell if the license is available at the time/day you want it.

There is a central page with links to all software forms and calendars.

The above link is also available on the MSI website’s Software Search page, in the left sidebar.

You can also find links to individual forms on the webpage for that particular software. For example, a link to the COMSOL reservation form and calendar can be found on the COMSOL information page.

4. Help Desk Video Consultations: For the benefit of MSI users outside the UMN Twin Cities campus, the Help Desk has established a schedule for one-on-one video consultations using Zoom. You can sign up on the scheduling calendar on the MSI website.

5. MSI Glossary: We have a new webpage, MSI Glossary, that consolidates words and phrases used throughout the website. This page may be useful if you run across a term on our website that you’re unfamiliar with.

6. Fall Tutorials: The fall tutorial schedule can be found on the MSI website.

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

7. Data Storage Fair: The Storage Council and Storage Champion Network are sponsoring a Data Storage Fair to introduce the U community to campus services to safely and securely store digital data, including research data. The Fair will be held on September 19, 2 - 4 p.m, in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, room 50. See the Data Storage Fair webpage for more information.

8. 2019 UMN Spatial Forum: The annual UMN Spatial Forum, sponsored by U-Spatial, will be held on November 13, 2019, noon - 7 p.m, in the Wilson Research Collaborative Studio. This event is free and open to the public. It includes lightning talks, research exhibits, conversation, and the Borchert Lecture. This year’s Borchert Lecture will be presented by Shaowen Wang of the University of Illinois.

More information will be forthcoming - check the U-Spatial website.

9. 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 for the Fall semester is published on the DASH website.

10. Job at MSI:

a. Systems Administrator

11. 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. Software License Reservations

g. Help and Documentation

h. MSI Glossary

i. Staff Listing and Areas of Expertise

j. Upcoming Events and Tutorials

k. Proposal Support