Messages & Announcements

  • 2012-09-19:  Firefly Panasas firmware upgrade complete
    Category:  Maintenance

    The firmware upgrade of Firefly's Panasas storage array is complete. Jobs that were held before the upgrade have been released to run.


    The firmware upgrade of Firefly's Panasas storage array is complete. Jobs that were held before the upgrade have been released to run.

  • 2012-09-19:  Firefly storage firmware upgrade - September 19, 2012
    Category:  Maintenance

    A time-sensitive firmware upgrade is needed for the Panasas storage array on Firefly.

    We will start the firmware upgrade at 11:00 am September 19, 2012 and expect to be done by 1:00 pm.

    While we do not anticipate a full scale outage during this upgrade, running processes that access /work or /home will hang during the procedure and should recover when the upgrade is finished.

    An announcement will be sent out once we complete the firmware upgrade.


    A time-sensitive firmware upgrade is needed for the Panasas storage array on Firefly.

    We will start the firmware upgrade at 11:00 am September 19, 2012 and expect to be done by 1:00 pm.

    While we do not anticipate a full scale outage during this upgrade, running processes that access /work or /home will hang during the procedure and should recover when the upgrade is finished.

    An announcement will be sent out once we complete the firmware upgrade.

  • 2012-09-14:  Module utility revision
    Category:  General Announcement

    Dear HCC user community,

    The following will affect those of you who use the utility "module". Otherwise, please forgive the interruption.

    As the number of HCC users has grown, so has the number of applications, many of which require environmental variables such as paths to libraries to be set. To simplify this process, HCC uses a utility called "module".

    This has proven successful, but now we are dealing with a new complexity -- too many modules. (!)

    In an effort to improve our service and stability,
    we will be simplifying certain modules by dropping minor revisions in their name. For instance, our PGI compiler module will simply be 'compiler/pgi/12' instead of 'compiler/pgi/12.x'. The module will automatically load the latest PGI version for your use. Other software will be treated similarly (i.e. OpenMPI).

    Because of this change, some modules will be removed and it might be necessary for you to recompile or rewrite submission scripts. In order to smooth the transition we will perform it in several steps.

    The contracted set of modules will coexist with the currently named set for the next week (until September 24). At that time, only the smaller set will be supported, although pre-existing modules will be moved to a 'deprecated' area that you can access using the command

    module load deprecated

    Deprecated modules will be maintained for at least a month, and then subject to deletion.

    We will be more assertive in the future in keeping our software up to date. As this happens we will move older module versions to the deprecated group in anticipation of their ultimate removal from our systems.

    Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.

    Thank you.

    David Swanson


  • 2012-09-14:  HCC Position Opening
    Category:  General Announcement

    The Holland Computing Center (HCC) is a large High Performance Computing facility supporting the NU system. HCC is looking to add a motivated, talented individual to work on ongoing international research collaborations such as the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) project. This is one of the particle accelerator experiments located at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. HCC seeks to hire a Systems Integrator with the following duties:

    Provide systems support for research computing, integrating distributed software components for building a robust infrastructure to support interdisciplinary research projects. Work with systems architect to create and combine components which integrate into a larger distributed framework for research support. Work in new development as well as refactoring and maintenance of legacy systems. Criminal background check will be conducted. Excellent benefits including staff/dependent scholarship program. Applicant review begins Sept 20. View requisition 120725 at https://employment.unl.edu for details and to apply. UNL is committed to a pluralistic campus community through affirmative action, equal opportunity, work-life balance, and dual careers.


  • 2012-08-17:  Sandhills open, some assembly required
    Category:  General Announcement

    Sandhills is now available. The filesystems were not changed, but the OS and the scheduler were. Please read the FAQ at http://hcc.unl.edu/sandhills/faq.php , and let us know if you have any difficulty.


    As mentioned in the previous announcement email, Prairiefire has been retired and 'merged' with Sandhills. The new Sandhills cluster is now online and available for use. There are some differences between the old and new environment, most notably the OS upgrade to Scientific Linux 6.3 and the change to SLURM as a job scheduler. -Please- read the FAQ at http://hcc.unl.edu/sandhills/faq.php for more details on the changes and how they may affect you.

    Unfortunately, while bringing the new Sandhills cluster online we discovered an issue with the storage used for /home. The issue is bad enough that normal file operations like copying were very slow and prone to failure.

    At this time we have not found a solution (or to be honest a cause) of this behavior and have decided to bring Sandhills online with the old /home fileserver as it was before. Thus, your home directories should look and feel just like they did before Prairiefire was retired. If you have logged in within the past 24 hours and find files in /home missing let us know at hcc-support@unl.edu and we will assist.

    We hope to resolve this filesystem issue as quickly as possible, at which point the new fileserver will be put in place. For what it's worth, this new fileserver is identical to the one serving Tusker's /home, which to date has worked well and given us few if any problems. The issues we're having on the Sandhills version are a complete surprise to us. For now we would rather have users able to log in and get work done than hold up everything while we sort out the problems.

    As this is a major system update there will undoubtedly be a few rough edges. We will do our best to resolve these quickly. Please use "module avail" to check for available software packages -- if you don't find an expected package installed, please let us know. While this amount of change will result in some level of disruption, it was required: the OS update was long overdue, and the scheduler was increasingly inadequate to meet evolving demands.

    Again - please read the FAQ at http://hcc.unl.edu/sandhills/faq.php, and if you have questions email hcc-support@unl.edu.

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