Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Helium high-performance computing system was shut down Dec. 1, and installation of the replacement Argon HPC system is underway. Argon is scheduled to be full-service by March 2017.

A stop-motion video of the Helium disassembly is available, courtesy of Chris Wilkins. Thanks to the Server Support Team and Research Services staff for all of their work on this transition.

Helium entered production in January 2011. It averaged nearly 80% utilization over the life of the system, and the user base for HPC grew from 12 labs to nearly 1,000 individuals from over 90 different departments.

Nodes from Helium will be used for educational purposes in the College of Engineering, to teach students how to build HPC systems. Engineering is willing to collaborate with other colleges should they have similar needs. Information on the Helium retirement is available on the HPC website.

Argon will have approximately 6,400 cores, and nodes continue to be available for purchase in the system. Argon installation details and a schedule are posted to the HPC website.

Research Services has communicated this change to HPC users, but help spreading the word is also appreciated. Questions can be directed to hpc-sysadmins@iowa.uiowa.edu.