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SIENews

The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 25 - June 2008

LaPalma Supercomputer to be busy during the 2nd period, 2008

On the 1st June, 2008 the second period of 2008 starts for LaPalma supercomputer. The way to apply for high-priority time at LaPalma for this period was to send an application form with details of the resources requested. The response was very large, and demand far surpassed the available resources, so the Access Committee had no option but to make cuts and grant less time than requested. Overall statistics for this period are: total number of available CPUhours: around 260.000; total number of requested CPUhours: 708.000; number of projects applying for time at LaPalma: 11. LaPalma is the biggest supercomputing resource at the IAC. If you have any questions regarding the use of LaPalma (or the other supercomputing resources), please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

SIE Users Committee

After the last SIENews issue, two new meetings of the SIE Users Committee have taken place. The March and April minutes are available at SIE webpage. Among the many topics discussed, and closed and new actions, we can highlight the following:
  • SIC7, one of the laptops for loans, now has a permanent, node-locked IDL license. It will be useful for those of you who are on travel, must use IDL, and can not get a license through ssh tunneling, VPN, the local site, or otherwise.
  • A proposal has been submitted to buy a new, larger and central screen to be placed in the Aula, and a new projector. This will complement, not replace, the present set-up. Please note that now the Research Area is in charge of the "Aula", while the SIC is in charge of projectors, sound system, etc. (see http://goya/PAGINA-INTERNA/comites/cd/cd2008/Inf11-08.pdf).
  • Now everybody in the Research and Graduate Studies Divisions is receiving mails sent to the iac mailing list through the astros-iac list. This solves the long-standing problem of several researchers missing from the iac list.

Xerenade and PGI compilers

If you need a cluster for tests, you can now use our new mini-cluster Xerenade. This mini-cluster has 16 AMD CPUs, and should be perfect for code development. This is not yet in full production, but if you would be interested in trying it out, please do get in touch. Perhaps the news about the new installed compiler has gone unnoticed, but we have recently installed in the IAC network the C/C++ and Fortran Portland Group's compilers. For those of you developing parallel codes, it is interesting to know that this compiler supports "High Performance Fortran (HPF)".

New B/W and color printers

The two color printers placed next to the CAU office have been recently replaced by newer ones, as their maintenance contract had expired. However, the two old printers apparently still work fine: one has been relocated in the 2nd corridor (lwc4), the other in the South Wing (lwc5). Also, the South Wing has got two new B/W printers (lw37 and lw38). Finally, three new B/W printers have been bought to replace some old printers in the Research Division (lw4, lw11 and lw28). They should hopefully arrive and be installed shortly.

SIEpedia article on Data Backup

Those of you who have attended Ruyman's seminar have certainly noticed the huge amount of data he has been working with. Losing such data is not an option, so Ruyman has devised a scheme to make automated backup copies, running daily, from one disk to another. He has been so kind as to share his recipe by publishing an article on the SIEPedia: Automated Disk Backup.
We also remind you about the Network Area Storage (aka Sistema de Almacenamiento Masivo), details of which you can find in the Almacenamiento Masivo talk given last December by Justo and Antonio. After all projects that have bought space or applied for it have been allocated the space they requested, there will likely still be some spare capacity available. However, projects needing large data areas (say upward of 0.5TB) ought to think about buying additional storage modules.

How do we install software?

Installing and upgrading astronomical software is one of the staple activities of the SIE. As you know, we install packages in our software servers, and each machine mounts the software from the appropriate directory in the appropriate server (type mount to see what this means). Installing software in a central server is a process somewhat longer and more involved than just downloading and installing an rpm in a single machine. In this SIEpedia article we describe shortly the software installation steps.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 25 - June 2008 - Contact: