• 2023 MGHPCC downtime, and major OS and software changes

    February 23, 2023
    2023 MGHPCC downtime, and major OS and software changes
    DOWNTIME COMPLETE The annual multi-day power downtime at MGHPCC (https://www.rc.fas.harvard.edu/blog/2023-downtime/) is complete (with exceptions noted below). Normal service resumes today (Friday June 9th) at 9am. As noted in previous communications, many changes have been made to the cluster and software. If you run jobs on the cluster and did not previously try out the test cluster, you ...
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  • Cluster Fragmentation

    June 3, 2022
    by Paul Edmon June 3, 2022 A common pitfall of High Performance Computing (HPC) scheduling is cluster fragmentation.  This is not unique to HPC mind you, any system where you have a limited amount of space that you try to fill with quasi random sized blocks of stuff will end up fragmented at some level (see ...
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  • HPC Medical Discovery Revolution

    March 16, 2022
    Some faces you may recognize in a video from one of our hardware partners discussing how modern HPC is revolutionizing drug and other health-related discoveries. Miss Annie Jump Cannon also makes an appearance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syLHtxOH9Rc
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  • 2021 Cluster Upgrades – Sept. 30th 2021

    September 20, 2021
    2021 Cluster Upgrades - Sept. 30th 2021
      We have some exciting news about new resources we want to share with you. In the summer of 2019 we invested in direct water cooling and were able to bring you the Cannon cluster with 32,000 of the fastest Intel Cascade Lake cores. This 8-rack block of compute has formed the core of our computational ...
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  • Security advisory regarding Python/Conda/pip/PyPI

    March 1, 2021
    AUDIENCE: All Python/Conda users IMPACT: Potential malicious packages installed or malware downloaded Numerous packages containing malware/malicious links have been uploaded to the PyPI (Python Package Index) repository. Many of these have names which are slight misspellings of the names of other packages. The intention is to cause an installation of one of these packages if the package ...
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  • 2020 Year-End Recap and a Look Back at FASRC

    December 11, 2020
    2020 Year-End Recap and a Look Back at FASRC
    2020 - A year full of changes   2020 began somewhat normally, except that the world was coming to grips with a global pandemic. By February plans were being formed for a probable change to 100% remote work for FASRC staff. This became a reality in March and we bid our offices in '38' farewell for some ...
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  • A Retrospective Odyssey

    December 2, 2020
    A Retrospective Odyssey
    by Paul Edmon December 2, 2020 Back in 2008, the Odyssey supercomputer was installed on the seventh floor of the Markely-Boston co-location data center at 1 Summer Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  Until this point Harvard had not really been a player in the realm of supercomputing, unlike other major universities who had been doing so for decades.  ...
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  • Congratulations to Madelyn Cain for JobID 1!

    September 1, 2020
    Congratulations to Madelyn Cain for JobID 1!
    by Paul Edmon, September 1, 2020 One of the features of our scheduling software, Slurm, is that it has a max JobID of 67,043,328 (for the fascinating reason why see the Slurm docs).  This means that when we hit that limit the JobID rolls over to 1 and starts counting again from there.  We thought this ...
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  • Summer 2020 datacenter consolidation

    July 27, 2020
    On-going work July - ? in our Boston data center Due to scheduling of resources around pandemic guidelines and rules, as well as scheduling with the data center and vendors, an end date is not yet known. As part of cost-savings plans, FASRC and Harvard Medical School will be combining space in our Boston data center. This ...
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  • Holidays and Tech: Your first computer

    December 16, 2019
    Holidays and Tech: Your first computer
    A bit of fun before the holiday break. One thing that people in our profession can count on is 'your first computer'. There is one for each of us, and generally they hold a special place in our hearts and very often they're tied to holidays or birthdays. We did an impromptu survey of FASRC (as ...
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  • Cannon makes super-computing Top 500 List

    November 20, 2019
    Cannon makes super-computing Top 500 List
    The November 2019 Top 500 List has just added Cannon, and we're very pleased to say we've ranked #144 overall and # 7 on the US academic list. We and the Harvard FAS are very proud to have Cannon in such a prominent position in the list. It demonstrates Harvard's commitment to pushing the envelope ...
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  • On Artificial Intelligence

    November 20, 2019
    On Artificial Intelligence
    by Paul Edmon, November 20, 2019 Currently in the realm of computer science there is no hotter topic than Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).  However as this slide deck from Professor Arvind Narayanan at Princeton notes there is also a lot of snake oil going around too.  Thus an understanding of AI is important ...
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  • Harvard/Yale meetup at MGHPCC

    November 13, 2019
    Harvard/Yale meetup at MGHPCC
    by Maggie McFee - Nov. 13, 2019   While attending the PEARC conference, Maggie and Austin ran into some of our Yale Research Computing counterparts: Kaylea, Robert, and Ben. While there's an intense sports rivalry between the two schools, this wasn't the case with our RC departments. We really hit it off well and we talked about ...
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  • What’s Old is New Again

    November 4, 2019
    What's Old is New Again
    by Paul Edmon, November 4, 2019 As Solomon said "there is nothing new under the sun", and so it is with archival technology.  Hollywood it seems has stumbled on the trick of etching glass to store data for long term (i.e. centuries).  Fun thing is this is a return to previous methods of storage. A general rule ...
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  • A Cautionary Tale

    October 16, 2019
    A Cautionary Tale
    by Paul Edmon, October 16, 2019 First, in order to not bury the lede, if you are a chemist using or have used the "Willoughby-Hoye" python scripts please be advised that there is a bug which may impact your results.  It is advised that you re-verify your results with the updated patched version.  See these articles ...
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  • FASRC Cluster Refresh 2019

    March 19, 2019
    FASRC Cluster Refresh 2019
    As of the November 2019 rankings, Cannon has ranked #144 on the Top500 list!  For current cluster details, please see: https://www.rc.fas.harvard.edu/about/cluster-architecture/ For current partition configurations and changes, please see the Running Jobs page The lease on the Odyssey compute cluster comes to an end this year, and a hardware refresh of the cluster will occur in September. Current ...
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