All Posts

Hydra system upgrade with brand new nodes

We are very pleased to announce the ready availability of 20 new nodes in Hydra with last-generation CPUs and a larger memory and cache per core than usual. Alongside the addition of these new nodes, we are also upgrading the operating system of rest of the cluster, which will require a planned reboot of the login nodes on Friday 26/4 at 06:00 (CEST) rendering the cluster inaccessible for a maximum of 15 minutes. Queued and running jobs will not be disrupted.

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Planned internet interruptions on 6 April 2024

As announced on WeAreVUB Staff, on Saturday April 6th, the VUB network team will perform network updates on the VUB campus, which will impact any internet connection between VUB and the outside world.

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Softening environment of Julia modules

We improved how we handle installations of Julia and Julia packages in Hydra. From now on, software modules in the cluster providing a base installation of Julia or any Julia package will not lock the working environment in any way upon load. This translates to the following features:

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Your OneDrive in VUB can now be used from Globus

We are happy to announce that it is now possible to connect your OneDrive storage (including SharePoint) in your VUB account to the Globus network. This provides a convenient method to move your data between OneDrive and the storage on all VSC clusters, as well as to any other computer you are currently using in Globus.

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Hydra scratch flash storage upgrade part 2 on 10 January 2024

On 10 January 2024 between 9:00-15:00, we will finalize the flash storage extension of Hydra’s scratch filesystem. During the upgrade, we will stop the scheduler to avoid putting load on the storage, and the performance of the scratch will be decreased. Running jobs will continue to run, and jobs in queue will remain queued.

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Organization of Python, Perl and R packages in bundles

The organization of Python, Perl and R packages in Hydra is changing with the introduction of the 2023a toolchains. The base software module for each of these languages now provides a basic installation with the core features of the language plus any tools needed to build and install your own software on top of it. Extra packages are delivered in bundle modules or with their own specific modules.

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Hydra scratch flash storage upgrade on 19 December 2023

The scheduler is again running, jobs are starting again. Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to complete the flash storage upgrade as some necessary hardware components are missing. We’ll announce another upgrade moment once all hardware is available.

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Hydra upgrade 27-28 November finished

Hydra has gained a major system upgrade, a brand new scratch storage, extra compute nodes, and a new GPU cluster for interactive workflows.

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VSC User Survey

The Flemish Supercomputing Centre (VSC) is carrying out a short user survey. Please take some time to participate in it and give your feedback about our services: https://uhasselt.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e8rTPE6iYFAZ0Bo

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Big upgrade for Hydra the 27-28 November 2023

We are happy to announce a big upgrade to our beloved tier-2 HPC cluster in VUB. On Monday, November 27th 2023 at 03:00 (CET), Hydra will be shut down for 48 hours to apply a major system upgrade, renew the scratch storage and add some extra compute nodes.

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Belgian LUMI user day

Join us in Brussels on November 6th, 2023, starting at 10:00 (CEST), for the Belgian LUMI user day.

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Job scheduler outage in Hydra

On Tuesday, October 10th at around 17:30 (CEST), there was an outage of the Slurm scheduler in Hydra. Please check the output of your jobs carefully if it was in queue or running between October 10th at 17:00 CEST and October 11th at 09:00 CEST.

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31/10/2023: HPC Intro Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next on-site HPC training session, in cooperation with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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30/10/2023: Linux Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next on-site Linux training session, in cooperation with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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24/10/2023: VSC Users Day 2023

We are pleased to announce the VSC Users Day 2023. The theme of the day: how to optimize your workflows for maximum HPC performance. This day is all about you: inspiring talks, lightning talks, and the unique opportunity to meet your fellow VSC HPC users.

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License server upgrade

On Wednesday 23 August 2023 at 09:00 the license server for licensed software in Hydra will be down for upgrades. The operation is expected to take ~30 minutes. Affected software: MATLAB, Gurobi, Mathematica, Q-Chem, QuantumATK.

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Reboot of Hydra login nodes

The login nodes of VUB’s Tier-2 cluster Hydra will be rebooted today (July 26th, 2023) at 22:00 CEST.

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Network outage at VUB main campus

16:30 The network outage in VUB main campus is resolved. Access to both the Hydra HPC cluster and the Pixiu object storage has been reestablished.

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Scheduled maintenance of HPC notebook platform

The notebook platform at notebooks.hpc.vub.be will be offline for maintenance on July 4th at 10:00 (CEST). This operation will last 30 minutes and all connections to existing lab sessions will be interrupted.

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Tier-1 Data launch event

On 9 May 12:00-13:30, the VSC is officially opening the Tier-1 Data component infrastructure. Register to participate in the online event: https://www.vscentrum.be/post/tier-1-data-launch-event

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New web portal for notebooks on the HPC

All PhD students and staff of VUB can now access our High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure from a web browser. This new interface allows managing and running computational notebooks directly on our Tier-2 cluster (Hydra).

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Legacy software change

On 27 March 2023, we’ve made a change in Hydra impacting only very old software modules.

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Extra Ampere GPUs in Hydra

We are happy to announce the immediate availability of 2 more GPU nodes in Hydra adding 4 new Nvidia A100 GPUs to the cluster. These new nodes are joining the ampere_gpu partition and share the same CPU, memory and GPU configuration with the other nodes in this partition.

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Documentation website refresh

We completed an update of the machinery running this documentation website that brings a refreshed look-and-feel and some quality-of-life improvements.

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New notebook platform pilot

We are very pleased to announce the beginning of the second pilot phase of the Notebook platform of VUB-HPC.

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New command prompt in Hydra

We have updated the default command prompt in Hydra with a more informative and better looking one.

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LUMI user course

On February 14-17 2023, the LUMI HPE Centre of Excellence (HPE CoE), AMD and the LUMI User Support Team organize a general LUMI course.

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Hydra login nodes reboot

On Wednesday 23 November 2022 around 18:00 we’ll reboot the Hydra login nodes.

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LUMI user training

On November 23 and 24 2022, HPE Center of Excellence and the LUMI User Support Team organize a hybrid training (Brussels & online) titled “Detailed introduction to the LUMI-C environment and architecture”. Information about the event, agenda, venue, travel and accommodation can be found here: https://www.lumi-supercomputer.eu/events/detailed-introduction-to-the-lumi-c-environment-and-architecture/.

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Data snapshots of the scratch in Hydra

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of data snapshots for the shared scratch storage of Hydra. Data snapshots save the state of your files and folders in the past, allowing to recover lost data from your account.

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Bug fixes for GCC and OpenBLAS

On Monday October 24th 2022 we’ve reinstalled two key components in the foss/2021b and foss/2022a toolchains to fix two important bugs.

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2022-fall on-site Linux Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next on-site Linux training session, in cooperation with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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2022-fall on-site HPC Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next on-site HPC training session, in cooperation with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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VSC Lunch Session on OpenFOAM

On October 4th 2022, VSC is organizing a lunch session on the topic of “CFD meets HPC” (OpenFOAM).

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New Globus endpoint for Hydra

We have a new Globus endpoint to access the storage of Hydra: VSC VUB Hydra. The old endpoint has been removed.

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Hydra storage down

13:00 The issues with the storage have been solved. Login to Hydra and all other VSC clusters is back to normal. Please check all jobs that were running when the storage issues started for errors, and resubmit if necessary.

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More Ampere GPUs in Hydra

We are happy to announce the immediate availability of 2 more GPU nodes in Hydra adding 4 new Nvidia A100 GPUs to the cluster. These new nodes are joining the ampere_gpu partition and share the same CPU, memory and GPU configuration with the other nodes in this partition.

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Job monitoring and checkpoints

We have updated the documentation with new information on job monitoring, restarting jobs from checkpoints and managing data between VSC_DATA and VSC_SCRATCH in your jobs.

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External network connection cut

23:00 The issues with the network have been solved and the connection of Hydra to external systems is back to normal.

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Scheduled maintenance for Hydra in July

15:00 All maintenance tasks have been completed ahead of time and the cluster is back online. The job queue is resumed and all users can now log in and submit new jobs.

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Quota data synchronisation is now working again

Since the move of Hydra to the Pleinlaan campus, the synchronisation of quota usage to the VSC accountpage was not working. We have now been able to fix it.

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Slow network connection to external systems

10:00 The issues with the network have been solved and the connection of Hydra to external systems is back to full speed.

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VSC Users Day 2022

The annual VSC Users Day is back! After two years of online gatherings, VSC Users Day 2022 will be live in Ghent on June 21st, 2022.

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Hydra-VSC network failure

14:30 The firewall has been repaired, and the connections between Hydra and the other VSC clusters are again working.

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Irregular low performance of Hydra’s new storage

16:00 We have pinned this issue down to a specific configuration of the login nodes. Today, April 21st, at 21:00 (CEST) we will apply an urgent fix to the login nodes that will increase the filesystem perfomance of VSC_HOME and VSC_DATA back to normal levels. The login nodes will be rebooted during the process and they will be unavailable for 10 min.

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Hydra move to VUB Etterbeek campus completed

We are happy to announce that the move of Hydra to the new data center of VUB in Etterbeek campus is complete. The cluster is now back open to VSC users.

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Kickoff of operation to move Hydra into campus

The start of the operation to move the Hydra cluster to VUB Etterbeek campus is upon us. Hydra will be closed to access from Monday, April 11th at 00:00 (CEST). The move is planned to last 1 week. We will continue to be reachable at hpc@vub.be and we will communicate the progress of the move on this post.

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User survey 2022

We have published the results of our yearly user survey, conducted in February 2022. Feedback from users’ experiences in Hydra adds valuable insight into their needs, what works well, and what needs further improvement.

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Hydra power cut

We’ve managed to get Hydra back to normal without data loss. The scheduler is running again and the login nodes are open. We’ve requeued all jobs that were running at the time of the power cut.

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Hydra moves to VUB Etterbeek campus

Hydra will very soon move from ULB Solbosch campus to the recently upgraded VUB data center on the Etterbeek campus. This change will bring improved power supply, cooling and security measures to our HPC cluster. The move is scheduled in the week of April 11-15.

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Multiple software packages updated in Hydra

The HPC team has been hard at work in the past month updating and testing many of the major software packages in Hydra. We invite all users to check these updates which include minor revisions of exiting versions with bug fixes and major new releases:

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VUB-HPC user survey 2022

Please take some time (~10 minutes) to fill out the short user survey at https://hpc.vub.be/survey2022

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VSC/CÉCI Workshop on Managing Workflows in HPC

On 15 and 16 February, VSC and CÉCI are organizing a free online 2-day workshop on the topic of managing workflows on HPC clusters.

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GAMESS-US v2021-R2 available in Hydra

The most recent release of GAMESS-US with version 2021-R2-patch1 is now installed in Hydra.

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Survey about trainings

VUB is participating in two big EU projects under the EuroHPC umbrella, the LUMI supercomputer project and the EuroCC project. LUMI will give you access to a new supercomputer infrastructure with large amounts of compute/storage/cloud resources (you will hear more about this soon), while EuroCC aims to foster the use of HPC in its broadest sense.

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Tier-1 Info Session cutoff 1 2022

On 14 January 2022 at 12:30-13:30 VSC will organize an online Info Session on writing a Tier-1 project.

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New GPU nodes in Hydra

We’re happy to announce that 6 new GPU nodes have been added to Hydra. They are equipped with the latest generation of NVIDIA GPUs: the Ampere A100.

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AlphaFold 2.1.1 available in Hydra

We are pleased to announce the availability of AlphaFold v2.1.1 in Hydra. This recent release of AlphaFold has been installed for our top of the line Nvidia A100 GPUs with 40 GB of memory.

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System update in Hydra

Warning We are carrying out a routine update of the operating system in Hydra. The nodes will be progressively updated without impacting running jobs, but queue times during the roll out might be longer.

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2021-fall on-premise Linux Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next on-premise Linux training session, in cooperation with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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2021-fall on-premise HPC Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next on-premise HPC training session, in cooperation with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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Slurm Q&A Sessions

We are pleased to announce the Q&A sessions for Slurm from the VUB-HPC team:

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Migration of Hydra to Slurm

The HPC team is proud to announce one of the biggest improvements for Hydra in recent years and certainly one of the most impactful for its users. Hydra is replacing its job scheduler for the Slurm Workload Manager.

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VSC Lunch Session on A.I.

On October 7th, VSC is launching its first Lunch Session on artificial intelligence, i.e. the ability of a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity.

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Update of the MPI stack in Hydra

The job scheduler in Hydra will be put on pause on Thursday, 16th September from 20:00 to 22:00. We will perform minor updates to the MPI stack in foss and intel toolchains. Running jobs will not be affected and users will be able to continue submitting jobs to the queue during the pause.

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New documentation for SRA-Toolkit

We have added a section for SRA-Toolkit to our documentation. This new documentation extends the list of instructions for specific software, which already covers 14 different applications.

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Migration of Globus accounts

We are very soon going to migrate all VSC accounts from the old vub.ac.be domain to vub.be. This change impacts users that have already used Globus services. Data access in Globus will not be affected, but if you want to keep your existing bookmarks and personal endpoints in Globus, you need to take action as soon as possible.

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Urgent system update in Hydra

Login nodes updated successfully. The system update for the rest of the nodes continues as planned.

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TensorFlow 2.5.0 is available in Hydra

The last stable version of TensorFlow is now installed in Hydra. You can load TensorFlow v2.5.0 with the following modules:

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Reboot of scheduler

Reboot done, all is back to normal.

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ORCA 5.0.0 is available in Hydra

The recent major release of ORCA version 5.0.0 is now installed in Hydra. You can load it with the module ORCA/5.0.0-gompi-2021a.

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CSC Autumn courses for LUMI

The national supercomputer centre of Finland (CSC) in collaboration with PRACE is planning a series of courses in Autumn to teach the necessary development skills for the future users of the upcoming LUMI supercomputer. The initial courses are mainly oriented to programmers, as LUMI is first and foremost a machine to explore exascale technologies and hence new software. Nonetheless, there will also be a course program for non-developer users once LUMI becomes online starting early next year.

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Rolling system updates

Warning On Tuesday June 15 at 20:00 the login nodes will be unavailable for 30 minutes.

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User survey 2021

We have published the results of our yearly user survey, conducted in February 2021. Feedback from users’ experiences in Hydra adds valuable insight into their needs, what works well, and what needs further improvement.

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OneDrive Client in Hydra

We have improved the recommended usage of the OneDrive client in Hydra. Check the FAQ in the link below.

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VSC Tier-1 Cloud Launch Event

On May 20th 2021, VSC is launching its Tier-1 Cloud component and it’s a pleasure to invite you to this event!

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2021-winter Online HPC Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next online HPC training session, in collaboration with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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New upcoming online trainings (Winter 2021)

The HPC team is pleased to announce that our next online training sessions on Linux and HPC will be held the 25-26 February 2021. These trainings are in collaboration with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC) and focus on young and/or early stage researchers (Doctoral students, Master thesis students).

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2021-winter Online Linux Training Session

We are pleased to announce our next online Linux training session, in collaboration with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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Hydra storage maintenance scheduled on 26/11

The maintenance on the storage is done and jobs are again running as normal. We are still busy with (automatically) updating all worker nodes. Until that is done, the queuing time will be slightly longer than normal.

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2020-fall Online HPC Training Session

The HPC team of the VUB-ULB Shared ICT Services Centre (SISC) is pleased to announce its second installment of online training sessions on Linux and HPC of this year, in collaboration with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC)

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New upcoming online trainings (Fall 2020)

The HPC team is pleased to announce our second installment of online training sessions on Linux and HPC of this year, in collaboration with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC), focusing on young and/or early stage researchers (Doctoral students, Master thesis students).

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2020-fall Online Linux Training Session

The HPC team of the VUB-ULB Shared ICT Services Centre (SISC) is pleased to announce its second installment of online training sessions on Linux and HPC of this year, in collaboration with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC).

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Hydra maintenance scheduled on 29/08

Due to maintenance work, it will not be possible to submit new jobs or view the status of submitted jobs on Saturday 29/8 between 20:00 and 23:00. Running jobs will not be impacted.

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Preventive measures for second heatwave

Warning Until next Friday (14th of August) IvyBridge nodes will be offline due to the current heatwave. All other nodes are online, including GPU nodes. Since the scope of this mesure is rather limited, the waiting time of jobs in the queue should not be affected.

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PRACE online training on Parallel Programming

From 9 to 12 June 2020, the Flemish Supercomputing Center (VSC, Belgium) and SURFsara (The Netherlands) are organizing this online course on parallel programming using OpenMP and MPI. See [ONLINE] Parallel Programming with OpenMP and MPI @ VSC Belgium & SURFsara for more information.

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Electricity works on the cooling system

From 2 to 3 June 2020, works on an electric board of the SISC cooling system will be conducted. The operations will require to stop the cooling system for short periods of time. The computing power of the HPC clusters Hydra and Vega will be reduced to a minimal level to avoid heat problems in the data center. Therefore, waiting time for jobs in the queue will be higher then normal.

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Hydra security hardening

Due to the recent wave of cyberattacks on HPC centers throughout Europe, the SISC HPC team will take security hardening measures on Hydra, in consultation with the VSC.

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Hydra storage maintenance scheduled on 18/05

There are a couple of hardware issues with the Hydra storage which we cannot safely fix while the cluster is running. We are going to shut down Hydra on Monday 18 May, starting at 09:00 to perform the needed repairs. We expect that we can resume normal operations by the late afternoon.

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2020-spring Online HPC Training Session

The HPC team of the VUB-ULB Shared ICT Services Centre (SISC) is pleased to announce its first online HPC training session:

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2020-spring Online Linux Training Session

The HPC team of the VUB-ULB Shared ICT Services Centre (SISC) is pleased to announce its first online HPC training session:

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Hydra network maintenance scheduled on 20/04

The network issues are fixed. Everything is back to normal.

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Free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)

We’d like to advertise three free MOOCs organized by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE):

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Urgent reboot of Hydra login server

The login1 server has to be rebooted to apply critical updates. This will be done on Saturday at 20:00. You can use login2.hpc.vub.be as an alternative login server during the downtime.

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2020-spring HPC Training Session

Due to the coronavirus outbreak we are forced to cancel the HPC training session of 31 March 2020. We hope to schedule a new date later on this academic year, possibly online. We’ll keep you informed.

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2020-spring Linux Training Session

Due to the coronavirus outbreak we are forced to cancel the Linux training session of 30 March 2020. We hope to schedule a new date later on this academic year, possibly online. We’ll keep you informed.

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VSC COVID-19 Action

Researchers working on COVID-19 can get free compute time on the Tier 1 and all Tier 2s of the VSC.

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Hydra unexpected network disconnection

The queue is back to normal operation.

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New upcoming training sessions (Spring 2020)

The HPC team is pleased to announce a new series of training sessions, in collaboration with the Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum (VSC) and the Consortium des Équipements de Calcul Intensif (CECI), focusing on young and/or early stage researchers (Doctoral students, Master thesis students). Full-day hands-on sessions are organized for both Linux and HPC.

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Fixed node crashes caused by MPI jobs

We fixed an issue where a MPI job could crash an entire node.

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