MSI Users Bulletin – December 2018

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. Annual Account Renewals: The MSI 2018 allocation period ends on December 31, 2018. If your group did not renew during the annual renewal period last month, but you still need MSI access in 2019, the PI or Group Administrator should contact the Help Desk for assistance, Non-renewed accounts will be locked in early January 2019.

All MSI users must have a valid UMN Internet ID. MSI accounts not associated with a valid UMN Internet ID will be locked after December 31, 2018.

2. Itasca Decommissioning: On April 3, 2019, Itasca will be decommissioned. MSI is entering a construction phase in our main data center to prepare for the new HPC system, which will be delivered in the fall of 2019. The physical space, power, and cooling used by Itasca must be reconfigured to meet the requirements of the new system.

Project Timeline 

  • Migrate Itasca Users to Mesabi
    • December 1, 2018 - April 1, 2019
    • If you would like MSI's assistance in migrating your research workflow from Itasca to Mesabi please contact the Help Desk.
  • Disable New Job Submission on Itasca
    • March 18, 2019
  • Shutdown Itasca Hardware
    • April 3, 2019

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.

3. NX NoMachine Update: During the December Maintenance period, MSI upgraded NX NoMachine to version 6.0. The major change is a move from a client based remote desktop to a web-based remote desktop. MSI has discontinued support for the NX desktop client. Instead, you should connect to via any HTML enabled browser.

Please visit the NX FAQ for additional information.

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.

4. U-Spatial Mapping Prize: MSI’s Research Computing partner, U-Spatial, sponsors an annual contest to celebrate great design and cartography through maps of all kinds, static and interactive. Winners receive cash prizes. Information can be found on the U-Spatial Mapping Prize website. Entries are due May 3, 2019.

5. 2019 MSI Research Exhibition: Save the Date! MSI will host the annual Research Exhibition on April 16, 2019, in Walter Library. The event includes a judged poster session with prizes (travel awards) for the finalists. We will post information on the Research Exhibition page on our website and send out a Call for Posters in January 2019.

6. Spring Tutorials: Tutorials will resume at the beginning of the spring semester. The schedule is being finalized, and will be posted on the Tutorials and Events section of the MSI website when registration is open.

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

7. Jobs at MSI:

8. 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. Software at MSI

e. Help and Documentation

f. Staff Listing and Areas of Expertise

g. Upcoming Events and Tutorials

h. Proposal Support