On Monday, December 4th, we are performing a major upgrade to UCloud’s infrastructure. This means that the system will be down for most of the day. Go to the SDU eScience Center news page for more information on the update.
What an accomplishment after less than 3 years of running the DeiC Interactive HPC service – there are now more than 7000 users on UCloud!
And not only that – we are seeing an increase in the number of active users per quarter.
Graph: the number of users on UCloud. UCloud has been used as the basis of the national HPC service, DeiC Interactive HPC, since November 2020. DeiC Interactive HPC is provided by a consortium of universities consisting of Aalborg University, Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark.
With so many users, we are also experiencing an extremely high utilization of the service. Over the last 6 months the average utilization was above 85%, with a peak utilization during working hours of more than 170 % of the total national capacity.
“The DeiC Interactive HPC has been an incredible success among Danish researchers and students, to the extent that it is now one of the most popular HPC services in Europe, despite being a relatively small infrastructure. This innovative DeiC service has succeeded in democratizing HPC among all research disciplines, including humanities and social sciences. It has also been a very popular platform for teachers at universities, who now use it every year as part of their courses.”Director of the SDU eScience Center, Prof. Claudio Pica.
“The surge in demand is a testament to the growing importance of interactive HPC in the national research ecosystem. It’s not just about capacity, but about making high-performance computing accessible and relevant to every field of study.”Professor Kristoffer Laigaard Nielbo, head of Center for Humanities Computing, Aarhus University
“We are incredibly proud of DeiC interactive HPC’s success and we are excited for the future possibilities and perspectives.”Lars Sørensen, Head of Digitalization, Aalborg University
This year, new hardware will be added to the service to accommodate the growing interest for GPU computing, which are highly requested amongst the DeiC Interactive HPC users. The new machines, which will be added both to the AAU and SDU datacenters, include compute nodes with 4 NVIDIA H100. This will have a significant impact on advancing research in Denmark.
This update was originally posted by the SDU eScience Center.
That’s how long it took to set up the new SSH access to DeiC Interactive HPC applications.
If SSH is of interest to you, you probably know that DeiC Interactive HPC applications have recently experienced limitations in providing a reliable and scalable solution for accessing their services using Secure Shell Protocol (SSH).
The challenges were attributed to a limited number of available IP addresses from the common pool on their platform, along with the implementation of a more scalable solution. The latter proved to be burdensome, as acquiring multiple new IP addresses would not provide the scalability required.
However, DeiC Interactive HPC has launched a new solution for Secure Shell Protocol access that eliminates the need for multiple IP addresses. This new solution is based on ports which are much more scalable. Therefore, users can now access DeiC Interactive HPC applications using SSH with ease.
To access this new solution, users only need to create a private/public key or use an existing one and add the public key to their account at Interactive HPC. Then select one of the supported applications and follow the documentation. Supported applications include AlmaLinux Xfce vJun2023, Rsync v3.2.7, Terminal Ubuntu vJun2023, Terminal Debian vJun2023, Terminal AlmaLinux vJun2023, Ubuntu Xfce vJun2023, and JupyterLab v4.0.2. Soon to be added to this list are RStudio and all the Coder applications.
With this new solution in place, users can now enjoy pure command-line bliss without any limitations or challenges:
Recently, the DeiC Interactive HPC consortium (which consists of Aarhus University, Aalborg University and the University of Southern Denmark) posted a news story about the user overload on the service. This is an issue arising from the very positive fact that the popularity of the DeiC Interactive HPC service is increasing, but it also has the unfortunate effect that some users are now experiencing longer waiting time on the machines than usual.
Needless to say, however, the DeiC Interactive HPC consortium is immensely proud of the success of the service – and now it can also announce that the UCloud platform, which is used to provide the DeiC Interactive HPC service, has passed 6,000 users. So many users on a service which has only been operational for 2,5 years is a great achievement.
“Overall, we’re seeing an increase in the number of new users at nearly all the 8 universities in Denmark. One significant factor for the past few months is that the number of users from Copenhagen University, which has not been using the facility extensively so far, is now increasing at a steady pace. This is both great news, but also a warning sign for us, as KU is a big university and we will need to be prepared to accommodate even more users in the future.”Prof. Claudio Pica, director of the SDU eScience Center and DeiC Interactive HPC Consortium representative
Another factor, which causes significant spikes in the number of new users at the start of every semester, is the number of students who log on the service because the UCloud software is used as part of their courses.
The consortium is working hard to add more hardware to the DeiC Interactive HPC service to alleviate the current periods of overload. In the meantime, you can find a number of tips for how to avoid overload issues here.
This update was originally posted by the SDU eScience Center.
While there was never any doubt that DeiC Interactive HPC would be a success, the popularity of the HPC facility has taken the Interactive HPC consortium a little by surprise. The two-year old system reached no less than 5000 users back in December, and while every milestone is celebrated the rapid success also comes with a price.
We’re seeing an average rise in users of 1000 each quarter and we’re very proud of the success. However, with an average utilisation of 135% of resources for containerised applications, we’re also experiencing issues with user overload recurring more and more frequently as more users join.DeiC Interactive HPC Consortium representative, Professor Kristoffer Nielbo, Center for Humanities Computing, Aarhus University
Additional hardware would solve most of the issues but adding more hardware is a time-consuming process, and in the meantime the consortium behind Interactive HPC is working on other solutions to ensure the best user experience.
We are currently working on making operational status available to users to allow them to see when user overload is causing issues and plan their work differently accordingly. The part of Interactive HPC running on SDU already has a solution underway, and the part of the system located at AAU will follow as soon as possible.Professor Kristoffer Nielbo
However, users can also actively do things to avoid the user overload issues. The DeiC Interactive HPC consortium recommends that; Small users should make sure they only use the resources they need; medium users are asked to consider whether their work could be done on other HPC systems; and large users should apply for resources via the national calls.
Applying for national resources may not fix the problem right now but by doing so researchers indicate that there is a need for additional hardware for Interactive HPC, and this can help speed up the expansion process.Professor Kristoffer Nielbo
The consortium also recommends using the new DeiC Integration portal when it makes sense. The portal integrates multiple national HPC systems and allows for users to seamlessly shift to other facilities clearing up space for users whose only option is Interactive HPC.
The consortium will continue work on solving any issues and ensure that necessary resources are available because there’s no doubt that interactive HPC is here to stay as a favourite HPC resource for researchers.
We’re approaching the end of the second year with DeiC Interactive HPC – and there are now 4000 users on UCloud!
During the first year with DeiC Interactive HPC, UCloud reached more than 2000 users. We’re glad that the interest in the platform has continued to grow throughout the second year.
On the 1st of February, a new and improved experience for virtual machines was launched on the UCloud platform. This means that launching a virtual machine will only take a few seconds. Previously, UCloud users had to wait a few business days before a virtual machine could be created due to a manual step in the approval process.
We are also planning to expand the offer of virtual machines with more types of GPU enabled machines and different software.
This is an excerpt. Click here for the full story.