Volume 10, Number 1, March 2013


University of Minnesota
Supercomputing Institute
Editor: Tracey Bartlett


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


1. Project Space: This is a reminder that MSI now has a new high-performance storage space that greatly out-performs our old project space. Migrating old project files to the new group space is recommended for all groups. Because data stored on project space is compressed, it will require more disk space when moved to your group space. Be sure you have adequate disk space before you begin your move. More information about moving project space data can be found at the Panasas Migration Guide webpage. The old project space will remain available for at least the next six months, but will be phased out at some time in the future.


2. Old HPC Home Directories: Data in old HPC home directories will be erased on July 15, 2013. Any data that has not been migrated from old home directories to the new unified home on all HPC systems, except Koronis, will be lost. More information is available on the Home Directories webpage.


3. Overclock Nodes Added to the Lab Servers: Four liquid-cooled nodes operating in an overclocked state have been added to the MSI lab servers. These nodes can provide a computational speed boost for certain types of calcualtions. Further information, including how to submit jobs to these nodes, is available on the Lab Overclock Nodes webpage.


4. Remote Visualization: MSI’s GPU-accelerated remote visualization, GPUT, provides a faster alternative to NX. You can find more details on the GPUT Information webpage.


5. MSI User Forum: MSI has started an MSI Users Forum through UMN Google Groups. The Forum will allow MSI users to ask questions and share information. Users can request membership through the MSI website or from the UMN Google Group menu. Requests for assistance with MSI resources or to report problems should still be sent to help@msi.umn.edu.


6. Supplemental SUs and Storage Increases: The next deadline for requesting supplemental SUs is April 1, 2013. The resource allocation committee will be meeting shortly after that date to assign additional SUs. Instructions for requesting SUs are in the "How do I get SUs?" section of the Allocations webpage.


Groups with a current allocation of SUs may also request an increase in their group space. The deadline is also April 1, 2013, and the resource allocation committee will review these requests. To request more space, send an email to help@msi.umn.edu. Include the amount of the increase you are requesting and a justification of your group's need for the space. 

SU and space requests must be made by a group's PI or group admin.


7. MSI System Upgrades:

a. MSI is continuing its commitment to emerging technologies with the expansion of the GPU cluster by adding four nodes with two of NVIDIA's Kepler K20 GPUs per node. The nodes will also include dual Intel E5-2670 processors. Each Kepler card has 2496 compute cores and 5 GB of memory, with a peak double-precision performance of 1.17 TFLOPS and a peak single-precision performance of 3.52 TFLOPS. The memory bandwidth of the card is 208 GB/sec. These nodes will be added to the Cascade cluster in late March 2013.   


b. Also for Cascade, MSI has ordered systems with the new Intel Xeon Phi processor cards. MSI will add two nodes each with a single Xeon Phi card in early April 2013. The Intel Xeon Phi card features 60 Intel cores with 1.053 GHz or 240 processing threads, 8 GB of memory, and 320 GB/s memory bandwidth. The Xeon Phi cards are supported by the latest Intel compiler suites and existing software can quickly take advantage of the Xeon Phi hardware with a simple recompile. Each Xeon Phi card is rated at 1 TFLOP of double precision peak performance.    


8. MSI Annual Research Exhibition: The 2013 MSI Research Exhibition will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2013. The event will be held 1:30-3:30 on the fourth floor of Walter Library. MSI researchers will present posters of their work using MSI resources. Light refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited; no RSVP is required. More information can be found on the Research Exhibition webpage.


9. Software Renewals and Discontinuations: In order to align software resources to the needs of researchers, MSI’s software working group regularly reviews software at MSI. The Software Renewal webpage contains information about which software packages are coming up for renewal and which ones will not be renewed. You can also provide feedback and requests for MSI software purchases.


10. Free HPC Summer School: Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the United States, Europe, and Japan are invited to apply for the fourth International Summer School on HPC Challenges in Computational Sciences, to be held June 23-28, 2013, at New York University in New York City. The summer school is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project, the European Union Seventh Framework Program’s Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), and RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (RIKEN AICS).


The application deadline is March 18, 2013. Complete information and application instructions can be found on the International Summer School on HPC Challenges in Computational Sciences website. 


11. Acknowledgement of MSI on websites: If you have a website that discusses your research using MSI resources, we would appreciate your acknowledging MSI's support on your website. You can also include a link to the MSI website. We are happy to provide an MSI wordmark; please contact MSI's Editor at bartlett@msi.umn.edu.

12. Jobs currently available at MSI:

a. Bioinformatics analyst

b. Student software developer


13. Useful email addresses:

- Address for submitting preprints and/or reprints of research papers:


- Address for submitting videos of your research or suggestions for research articles: