Current news...


December 15th: pre-Christmas update

The SCAN Super Computer At Night service will run full time from the usual 8pm start time on Friday evening, December 15th until 05:50 am on Thursday, January 4th 2018 using the 25 PCs in Huxley 410. This is in addition to the nightly operation in Huxley 215, where 40 PCs will continue to run in SCAN mode from 11pm until 05:50 every night.

clustor2 and its backup mirror cluster2-backup, providing around 60 TB of dedicated local storage for the Next Generation Maths compute cluster are up and running but before being made available to users, the opportunity is being taken to fine-tune the ZFS storage system to provide optimal performance. This was something that was never done on the original clustor (since there was some pressure to provide large amounts of storage quickly) and read/write speeds with some workloads has not been brilliant. clustor2 uses 8 TB helium-filled disks for the main storage pool but with the addition of two very fast SSDs (Solid State Disks), one operating as a read-ahead cache and the other as the ZFS intent log device, to speed up filesystem read/write performance from multiple users running multiple jobs over NFS connections from cluster nodes. There are quite a lot of variables in the system configuration that affect this performance so these are being tested in turn, using repeated runs of disk/filesystem benchmark tests, logging performance data to a SQL database for ease of comparison.

Older news items:

November 22nd: late November update
October 8th: start of 2017/2018 academic year update
2017: Midsummer's Day update
June 16th, 2017: mid-June update
June 2nd, 2017: Early summer update
April 20th, 2017: Spring update 2
March 22nd, 2017: Early spring update
March 10th, 2017: Winter update 2
February 22nd, 2017: Winter update
November 2nd, 2016: Autumn update
October 21st, 2016: Late summer update 2
October 14th, 2016: Late summer update
February 19th, 2016: Winter update
December 11th, 2015: Autumn update
September 14th, 2015: Late summer update 2
May 2nd, 2015: Spring update 2
April 26th, 2015: Spring update
November 11th, 2014: Autumn update
September 17th, 2014: Summer update 2
July 17th, 2014: Summer update
March 15th, 2014: Spring update
November 2nd, 2013: Summer update
May 24th, 2013: Spring update
January 23rd, 2013: Happy New Year!
November 22nd, 2012: No news is good news...
November 17th, 2011: A revamp for the Maths SSH gateways
September 7th, 2011: Failed systems under repair
August 14th, 2011: Introducing calculus, a new NFS home directory server for research users
July 19th, 2011: a new staging server for the compute cluster
July 19th, 2011: A new Matlab queue and improved queue documentation
June 30th, 2011: Updated laptop backup scripts
June 18th, 2011: More storage for the silo...
June 16th, 2011: Yet more storage for the SCAN...
June 10th, 2011: 3 new nodes added to the Maths compute cluster
May 21st, 2011: Announcing SCAN large storage and subversion (SVN) servers
May 26th, 2011: Reporting missing scratch disk on macomp01
May 21st, 2011: Announcing completion of silo upgrades
May 16th, 2011: Announcing upgrades for silo
April 14th, 2011: Goodbye SCAN 3, hello SCAN 4
March 26th, 2011: quickstart guide to using the Torque/Maui cluster job queueing system
March 9th, 2011: automatic laptop backup/sync service, new collaboration systems launched
May 20th, 2010: Scratch disks are now available on all macomp and mablad compute cluster systems
March 11th, 2010: Introduing job queueing on the Fünf Gruppe compute cluster
October 16th, 2008: Introduing the Fünf Gruppe compute cluster
June 18th, 2008: German City compute farm now expanded to 22 machines
February 7th, 2008: new applications on the Linux apps server, unclutter your desktop
November 13th, 2007: aragon and cathedral now general access computers, networked Linux Matlab installation upgraded to R2007a
September 14th, 2007: Problems with sending outgoing mail for UNIX & Linux users
July 23rd, 2007: SCAN available full-time over the summer vacation, closure of Imperial's Usenet news server
May 15th, 2007: Temporary SCAN suspension, closure of the Maths Physics computer room, new research computing facilities
January 14th, 2005: Exchange mail server upgrade, spam filtering with pine and various other enhancements


Andy Thomas

Research Computing Manager,
Department of Mathematics

last updated: 15.12.2017