MSI Users Bulletin - June 2016

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. Jupyter Notebooks Service: MSI has opened to all users as a new MSI Beta service. This interactive computing environment requires only a web browser, and enables data analysis and visualization on our HPC resources in a shareable, reproducible notebook format. Notebooks currently supports Python 2.7, Python 3.4, and R 3.2. Our Python tutorial materials provide a useful overview. Please note that off-campus users must connect through the University VPN.

2. Globus File-Transfer System: The Globus high-performance data transfer system is now available to MSI users. Globus is a service that allows for fast transfer of data between computer systems, using a convenient web interface. Globus data transfer speeds are typically significantly faster than data transfer speeds using other methods. Globus also contains data sharing capability, which allows users to share data with collaborators at UMN and other institutions.

Complete instructions for using Globus at MSI are available in the MSI FAQ.

3. User Accounts: As part of the alignment of MSI resources with the central UMN Office of Information Technology (OIT), MSI will begin utilizing the email address on record with OIT as the primary method of communication with all MSI users. See the FAQ for up-to-date information.

Non-UMN Users: MSI is transitioning from using sponsored accounts for non-UMN affiliated users to a “Person of Interest (POI)” designation. Please see the FAQ for information about how to set up this designation

4. Second Tier Storage and User Accounts: As a consequence of our efforts to align user accounts with University Internet ID (see paragraph 3 above), MSI has changed how users are identified in our Second Tier Storage. See the FAQ for more information.

5. Lab Servers Status: MSI continues to advance interactive computing as a first class service.  As part of this transition MSI encourages users to avoid using the Lab Servers for batch jobs. The Lab Servers are intended and optimized for providing remote desktop access to interactive graphical software and certain specialized services. Mesabi is a much better resource for batch type jobs and should be your first choice for computation at MSI. It hosts several queues for a variety of batch job types.  Over the next year MSI is upgrading and improving resources for interactive use. Consult our documentation or contact to assist in migrating your batch workflows away from the Lab Servers.

6. NX Sessions: MSI is changing the procedure for terminating NX sessions. This change will be effective after the July 2016 maintenance day. Please see the MSI FAQ for complete information.

7. New MSI Help Desk Manager: MSI has a new full-time Help Desk manager, Shane Scott. Shane has considerable experience as a Help Desk manager and will be working to improve our ticketing system and user support.

8. Summer Tutorials: The Summer tutorial schedule is posted on the MSI website. 

9. Jobs at MSI: There are currently no jobs available at MSI. If jobs become available, they will be listed on the website.

10. 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. Help and Documentation

e. Staff Listing and Areas of Expertise

f. Upcoming Events and Tutorials

g. Proposal Support