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CHPC system availability

CHPC is installing a new system and will not be available from January to March 2016.

Fitting has been completed, test users are running their jobs and full usage will be possible from mid-March when cooling doors will have been installed.
Below are the summary details of new cluster:
The new CHPC cluster will consist of a total of 19 racks containing 1008 standard compute nodes (24 cores/node; 24192 total core number; 128 GB memory/node), 5 FAT nodes (56 cores/node; 280 total core number; 1024 GB memory/node) with a total theoretical peak Linpack performance of 774.5 Tflop/s.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 May 2018 20:55

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NMMU hosts the 6th CHPC Introduction to Programming with Linux and Python School

CHPC started its week-long Programming with Linux and Python School at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), North Campus on Monday 18 January 2016.

About 60 Masters and Doctoral students in fields of science and engineering from universities all over South Africa gathered at the ICT Department of the university for the basic scientific programming course intended to introduce postgraduate students to Linux (Ubuntu) and programming with Python. The students are in the fields of chemistry, physics, mathematics, applied mathematics, biology, bioinformatics, computer science and engineering and are without prior or sound knowledge of Linux and Python scripting. The CHPC, as a national computing facility, is tasked with ensuring that South African researchers are able to run their scientific applications or codes on its multi-million Rand systems and to do this, researchers need to be trained on the best and most efficient ways of utilising this national investment. Training users allows them full control of their work with less help-desk support as CHPC systems run on Linux and therefore Python and Linux scripting skills are essential for HPC. The CHPC help-desk is available to support users further.

The course is practical in nature, with students spending the full six days in a computer lab doing hands-on practical work. Since 2011, the CHPC has trained over 200 students some of which already completed their doctorates studies in field related to High Performance Computing (HPC) and joined industry and academia.

The first two days cover:

Overview of Ubuntu Linux desktop, Running commands and getting help, Browsing the file system, the bash shell, Standard I/O and pipe users, groups and permissions, vi and vim editor basics, Linux file system in-depth, advanced topics in users, groups and permissions, printing, introduction to string processing and string processing with regular expressions, finding and processing files, investigating and managing processes, introduction to PBS Pro and; job submission at the CHPC.

The next four days cover:

Python basics and Python objects, numbers, sequences, dictionaries, conditional and loops, files and input/output; and error and exceptions. The course runs from 18-23 January 2016 and is conducted by the CHPC annually.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 14:05

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CHPC installs new system

CHPC users will notice that systems are currently inaccessible as has been communicated by the centre from the end of last year. At the CHPC National Conference in December 2015, the centre unveiled its new PETAFLOP (PFLOP) machine, a computer with processing speeds capable of a thousand-trillion floating point operations per second.

The installation of the new system means CHPC users can expect downtime as the current systems will be put out of commission and removed from 8 January 2016. It is estimated that the new system will be available to users from mid-March 2016, following the installation and testing phase.  

The increase in computing resources means the centre minimises the waiting time that users were subjected to, enabling CHPC to provide improved services to its growing clientele.

The new system consists of Dell servers, powered by Intel processors, using FDR InfiniBand by Mellanox and is managed by the Bright Cluster Manager. 


Last Updated on Thursday, 03 March 2016 14:45

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Wits wins 2015 Student Cluster Competition


Wits University has for a second-year running, snatched the top position in the annual CHPC Student Cluster Competition, making Wits the main component of the South African national team that will proceed to the international competition. 
The event took place at the CHPC National Conference held at the CSIR international Convention Centre, 30 November - 4 December 2015. Nine teams were given a budget and a parts-list for the cluster they were to build, they then chose a design and made important decisions on what the main features of their machines would be. They were then given some benchmarks and surprise applications to run on their machines and a panel of international judges made assessments of their hard work. 


Best Perseverance Award: Supercomputing Smoothy & White Hats
Most Creative Team: Team UKZN
Best Cluster Design: Super C's
Best Team Work: Deep Thought
Best Network Performance: Quad Core 2


3rd Place: Blink 10110110
2nd Place, highest Linpack and highest efficiency: Quad Core 1
1st Place: Wits 1
The South African competition is made up of teams of four while the international level requires teams of six. So the judges selected two members from the Stellenbosch University's team to make up the team to represent South Africa in Frankfurt, Germany in June 2016. 
In February 2016, the team of six will be visiting the Dell High Performance Computing Research and Development facility and the Texas Advances Computing Center in Austin, Texas. 
Watch here for the competition and the awards

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 January 2016 15:35

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