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General Interest

Flux transfer servers will be decommissioned on Jan. 9; use new endpoints

By | Feature, General Interest, News

To provide faster transfers of data from ARC services, ARC will be decommissioning the Flux-Xfer servers on January 9, 2023. You will need to update how you migrate your data. 

For everyone who uses ARC storage services, especially Data Den users: This message is VERY important! This change includes the use of scp from Flux-Xfer, as well as the Globus endpoint umich#flux. Any shared endpoints that you have created on umich#flux will be automatically migrated to a new Globus collection on January 9. Those who use Data Den should take special interest in Item 1 listed below. 

Action item – Use the new endpoints

  1. If you currently use globus and umich#flux to access your Locker or Data Den volume, you should use the Globus Collection ‘UMich ARC Locker Non-Sensitive Volume Collection’ for Locker, and the Globus Collection ‘UMich ARC Data Den Non-Sensitive Volume Collection’ for Data Den. 
  2. If you currently use globus and umich#flux to access your Turbo volumes, you should use the Globus Collection ‘UMich ARC Turbo Non-Sensitive Volume Collection’.
  3. If you currently use globus and umich#flux to access other storage volumes, you should use the Globus Collection ‘umich#greatlakes’.  
  4. If you currently use scp on flux-xfer to copy data to/from Turbo, you should use ‘globus-xfer1.arc-ts.umich.edu’.

User guide 

How can we help you?

For assistance or questions, please contact ARC at arc-support@umich.edu

2023 Winter Maintenance & Globus File Transfer upgrade 

By | Feature, General Interest, Great Lakes, HPC, News, Systems and Services

Winter maintenance is coming up! See the details below. Reach out to arc-support@umich.edu with questions or if you need help. 

These services will be unavailable: 

  • Great Lakes – We will be updating Great Lakes on a rolling basis throughout December and beginning of January, and if successful, there should be no downtime or impact, with the following exceptions: 
    • Single precision GPUs (SPGPU) will be down Jan. 4-5 for networking maintenance. Those nodes will return back to production when maintenance has been completed and the nodes have been reloaded.
    • Customers will be notified via email of any changes to Great Lakes maintenance that will require downtime.
    • If unsuccessful, the Great Lakes maintenance will begin on Jan. 4-5, starting at 8am.  In either case, we will email everyone with the updated maintenance status.
  • Globus on the storage transfer nodes: Jan. 17-18.

Maintenance notes:

  • No downtime for ARC storage systems maintenance (Turbo, Locker, and Data Den).
  • Open OnDemand (OOD) users will need to re-login. Any existing jobs will continue to run and can be reconnected in the OOD portal.
  • Login servers will be updated, and the maintenance should not have any effect on most users. Those who are affected will be contacted directly by ARC. 
  • Copy any data and files that may be needed during maintenance to your local drive using Globus File Transfer before maintenance begins. 
  • Slurm email will be improved, providing  more detailed information about completed jobs.

Countdown to maintenance 

For Great Lakes HPC jobs, use the command “maxwalltime” to discover the amount of time remaining until maintenance begins. 

Jobs that request more walltime than remains until maintenance will automatically be queued and start once maintenance is complete. If the plan for Great Lakes maintenance is successful, any queued jobs will be able to run as usual (except for the SPGPU nodes as discussed above). Customers will be notified via email if downtime is required for Great Lakes.

Status updates and additional information

How can we help you?

For assistance or questions, please contact ARC at arc-support@umich.edu.

ARC Director Brock Palen spoke about Globus at SC22

By | General Interest, News

At the recent International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis in Dallas (SC22) in Dallas, Tx., ARC Director Brock Palen spoke about how the University of Michigan is using Globus File Transfer. Globus allows the transfer of data between different storage systems, lab computers, and personal desktops/laptops.

“U-M is the largest public research university in North America by research spend. There are over a hundred top 10 graduate programs, and this drives a lot of interesting collaborations,” said Palen.  

Globus is a robust, cloud-based, file transfer service designed to move many large files, ranging from 10s of GBs to 10s of TBs. ARC is a Globus Subscription Provider for the U-M community, which allows U-M resources to serve as endpoints or collections for file transfers.

“Globus is the tool we use for data transfer, and it’s pretty much ubiquitous across Internet2, the national sites, other academic sites, and it interoperates everywhere,” Palen noted.  

Watch the YouTube video featuring Brock Palen

Check out the Globus user guide on the ARC website.

Dailey receives U-M Robotics’ first-ever alumni award¬†

By | General Interest, Happenings, News, Research, Uncategorized

Meghan Dailey will be presenting The Future of Machine Learning in Robotics on September 23 at 2 p.m., at FMCRB or Zoom

Meghan Dailey is the U-M Robotics department’s first Alumni Merit Award recipient!

Dailey is a member of the first-ever class in U-M Robotics. She earned a Masters of Science degree in 2015 with a focus in artificial intelligence. She is currently a machine learning specialist with Advanced Research Computing (ARC), a division of Information and Technology Service (ITS)

You’re invited 

In honor of the award, Dailey will be presenting “The Future of Machine Learning in Robotics” on Friday, September 23, 2 p.m., Ford Robotics Building (FMCRB) or on Zoom (meeting ID: 961 1618 4387, passcode: 643563). Machine learning is becoming widely prevalent in many different fields, including robotics. In a future where robots and humans assist each other in completing tasks, what is the role of machine learning, and how should it evolve to effectively serve both humans and robots? Dailey will discuss her past experiences in robotics and machine learning, and how she envisions machine learning contributing to the growth of the robotics field.

About Dailey

A member of the ARC Scientific Computing and Research Consulting Services team, Dailey helps researchers with machine learning and artificial intelligence programming. She has consulted with student and faculty teams to build neural networks for image analysis and classification. She also has extensive experience in natural language processing and has worked on many projects analyzing text sentiment and intent.

Image courtesy U-M Robotics

ITS Holiday Hours – Thanksgiving Break

By | General Interest

ITS offices, including the Service Center (4HELP) and ARC, will close for the Thanksgiving holiday at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24, and will resume normal business hours on Monday, November 29.

Information about winter break hours will be available soon. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

RMP new feature alert: View Great Lakes HPC account information

By | General Interest, HPC, News, Systems and Services

Advanced Research Computing (ARC), a division of ITS, has been developing a self-service tool called the Resource Management Portal (RMP) to give researchers and their delegates the ability to directly manage the IT research services they consume from ARC. 

Customers who use the Great Lakes High-Performance Computing Clusters now have the ability to view their account information via the RMP, including the account name, resource limits (CPUs and GPUs), scratch space usage, and the user access list.

“We are excited to be able to offer this tool for customers. It should make their busy lives easier,” said Todd Raeker, ARC research experience manager. 

The RMP is a self-service-only user portal with tools and APIs for research managers, unit support staff, and delegates to manage their ARC IT resources. The RMP team is slowly adding capabilities over time. 

To get started or find help, contact arc-support@umich.edu.

Global research uses computing services to advance parenting and child development

By | General Interest, Great Lakes, HPC, News, Research, Uncategorized

Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, professor of Social Work, has spent the past 15 years studying the impact of physical discipline on children within the United States. 

Working with a team of other researchers at the School of Social Work, co-led by professors Shawna Lee and Julie Ma, he recently expanded his research to include children from all over the world, rather than exclusively the U.S. Current data for 62 low- and middle-income countries has been provided by UNICEF, a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. This data provides a unique opportunity to study the positive things that parents do around the world.

a group of smiling children

(Image by Eduardo Davad from Pixabay)

“We want to push research on parenting and child development in new directions. We want to do globally-based, diversity-based work, and we can’t do that without ARC services,” said Grogan-Kaylor. “I needed a bigger ‘hammer’ than my laptop provided.” 

The “hammer” he’s referring to is the Great Lakes HPC cluster. It can handle processing the large data set easily. When Grogan-Kaylor first heard about ARC, he thought it sounded like an interesting way to grow his science, and that included the ability to run more complicated statistical models that were overwhelming his laptop and department desktop computers. 

He took a workshop led by Bennet Fauber, ARC senior applications programmer/analyst, and found Bennet to be sensible and friendly. Bennet made HPC resources feel within reach to a newcomer. Typically, Grogan-Kaylor says, this type of resource is akin to learning a new language, and he’s found that being determined and persistent and finding the right people are key to maximizing ARC services. Bennet has explained error messages, how to upload data, and how to schedule jobs on Great Lakes. He also found a friendly and important resource at the ARC Help Desk, which is staffed by James Cannon. Lastly, departmental IT director Ryan Bankston has been of enormous help in learning about the cluster.

“We’re here to help researchers do what they do best. We can handle the technology, so they can solve the world’s problems,” said Brock Palen, ARC director. 

“Working with ARC has been a positive, growthful experience, and has helped me contribute significantly to the discussion around child development and physical punishment,” said Grogan-Kaylor. “I have a vision of where I’d like our research to go, and I’m pleased to have found friendly, dedicated people to help me with the pragmatic details.” 

More information

RMP new feature alert: Manage Turbo users on-demand

By | General Interest, News, Systems and Services

Advanced Research Computing (ARC), a division of ITS, has been developing a self-service tool called the Resource Management Portal (RMP) to give researchers and their delegates the ability to directly manage the IT research services they consume from ARC. 

Turbo Research Storage customers now have the option to directly manage their own approved users. 

“Previously, customers would have to submit a ticket and then wait for several days to get a resolution to their request. Now it takes just seconds,” said Todd Raeker, ARC research experience manager. 

The RMP is a self-service-only user portal with tools and APIs for research managers, unit support staff, and delegates to manage their ARC IT resources. The RMP team is slowly adding capabilities over time. 

To get started or find help, contact arc-support@umich.edu

ARC, LSA support groundbreaking global energy tracking

By | General Interest, Great Lakes, HPC, News, Research, Uncategorized

How can technology services like high-performance computing and storage help a political scientist contribute to more equal access to electricity around the world? 

Brian Min, associate professor of political science and research associate professor with the Center for Political Studies, and lead researcher Zachary O’Keeffe have been using nightly satellite imagery to generate new indicators of electricity access and reliability across the world as part of the High-Resolution Electricity Access (HREA) project. 

The collection of satellite imagery is unique in its temporal and spatial coverage. For more than three decades, images have captured nighttime light output over every corner of the globe, every single night. By studying small variations in light output over time, the goal is to identify patterns and anomalies to determine if an area is electrified, when it got electrified, and when the power is out. This work yields the highest resolution estimates of energy access and reliability anywhere in the world.

A satellite image of Kenya in 2017

This image of Kenya from 2017 shows a model-based classification of electrification status based upon all night statistically recalibrated 2017 VIIRS light output. (Image courtesy Dr. Min. Sources: NOAA, VIIRS DNB, Facebook/CIESIN HRSL).

LSA Technology Services and ARC both worked closely with Min’s team to relieve pain points and design highly-optimized, automated workflows. Mark Champe, application programmer/analyst senior, LSA Technology Services, explained that, “a big part of the story here is finding useful information in datasets that were created and collected for other purposes. Dr. Min is able to ask these questions because the images were previously captured, and then it becomes the very large task of finding a tiny signal in a huge dataset.”

There are more than 250 terabytes of satellite imagery and data, across more than 3 million files. And with each passing night, the collection continues to grow. Previously, the images were not easily accessible because they were archived in deep storage in multiple locations. ARC provides processing and storage at a single place, an important feature for cohesive and timely research. 

The research team created computational models that run on the Great Lakes High-Performance Computing Cluster, and that can be easily replicated and validated. They archive the files on the Locker Large-File Storage service

One challenge Min and O’Keeffe chronically face is data management. Images can be hundreds of megabytes each, so just moving files from the storage service to the high-performance computing cluster can be challenging, let alone finding the right storage service. Using Turbo Research Storage and Globus File Transfer, Min and O’Keeffe found secure, fast, and reliable solutions to easily manage their large, high-resolution files.

Brock Palen, director of ARC, said that top speeds were reached when moving files from Great Lakes to Turbo at 1,400 megabytes per second. 

Min and team used Globus extensively in acquiring historical data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Champe worked with the research team to set up a Globus connection to ARC storage services. The team at NOAA was then able to push the data to U-M quickly and efficiently. Rather than uploading the data to later be downloaded by Min’s team, Globus streamlined and sped up the data transfer process. 

Champe noted, “Over 100TB of data was being unarchived from tape and transferred between institutions. Globus made that possible and much less painful to manage.”

“The support we’ve gotten from ARC and LSA Technology has been incredible. They have made our lives easier by removing bottlenecks and helping us see new ways to draw insights from this unique data,” said Min. 

Palen added, “We are proud to partner with LSA Technology Services and ITS Infrastructure networking services to provide support to Dr. Min’s and O’Keeffe’s work. Their work has the potential to have a big impact in communities around the world.” 

“We should celebrate work such as this because it is a great example of impactful research done at U-M that many people helped to support,” Champe continued.

Min expressed his gratitude to the project’s partners. “We have been grateful to work with the World Bank and NOAA to generate new insights on energy access that will hopefully improve lives around the world.”

These images are now available via open access (free and available to all)

This is made possible by a partnership between the University of Michigan, the World Bank, Amazon Web Services, and NOAA

Name change: ARC-TS is now ARC

By | General Interest, News

ITS ARC logo

We are excited to announce that we will be changing our name from Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS) to Advanced Research Computing (ARC).

Along with the entire ITS team, we are committed to enhancing our support of high performance computing infrastructure and delivering intuitive research computing solutions that are agile and researcher-centric—and we hope that this name change will give a grateful nod to the history and growth of HPC at Michigan.

We will update ARC-TS’s website to reflect the new name on Mar. 6, between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. It will have a new URL, arc.umich.edu, and there will be automatic redirects for anyone using the previous URL. The Twitter handle has been renamed @umichARC, and customers can continue to reach the Help Desk at arc-support@umich.edu.

This change does not affect the groups that were previously part of ARC (MICDE, MIDAS, and CSCAR), and those groups will remain as independent units within the Office of Research.

Director Brock Palen and team look forward to continuing working collaboratively with units in ITS and across the university to deliver world-class technology to researchers.