Major Rivanna Upgrade Approaching

A major operating system upgrade is scheduled for Rivanna on October 10, 2017. The core system will move from Centos 6.8 to Centos 7.3. Most compilers and community applications will be upgraded as well. In addition, Rivanna will gain several new nodes with hardware accelerators. We will offer 10 nodes with 4 NVIDIA K80 GPGPUs, 4 nodes with 4 NVIDIA P100 GPGPUs, and 8 nodes of Intel Knight’s Landing Many-Integrated Core processors with 64 cores/256 threads per node.

Users will be permitted to log on to a test environment, rivanna4.hpc.virginia.edu, starting September 25. This is a limited environment consisting of 5 standard nodes and the new accelerator nodes and should be used to test your software in the new environment. Some changes to the partitions on this testbed are a standard queue that replaces the economy and serial queues, and a new queue knl for Knight’s Landing. The GPGPUs are in the gpu queue as before, but you must use the "gres" option to request that you wish to use the hardware.  If you need a specific gpu architecture, k80 or p100 is requested by a constraint, either k80 or p100, e.g.

#SBATCH –p gpu
#SBATCH --gres=gpu
#SBATCH –constraint=p100

Finally, all the older, out-of-warranty hardware that made up the “economy” partition has been retired from Rivanna and replaced by 24 new nodes with 28 cores and 256GB RAM per node in the standard queue.

At the upgrade each user home directory will be migrated to a new home directory with 50GB of space. Please be aware that this is no longer the ITS Home Directory Service. All your files will have been copied by the time you first log in, but new files you create will not be updated on the old home directory. Should you need to access your old home directory, it will be available at /sfs/blue/yourid.

As part of the upgrade we will switch from the older environment modules system we have been using to the newer lmod system. Most of the commands will remain the same, but lmod is more oriented to a hierarchical system and will not allow incompatible compilers and libraries to be loaded.

If you use FastX, please be sure you have a recent client (Version 2.082 or later). Centos 7.3 comes with Gnome 3, which by default uses a different interface, more like Windows 10 or Mac OSX than the previous Gnome 2. In the upper left is the Activities menu. Clicking on that brings up icons of the most common applications; the squares at the bottom will show all applications, and a search bar is at the top of your desktop. Moving the mouse to the extreme right of the desktop will bring additional workspaces into view. At your first login, you should be offered a short Gnome tutorial which we urge you to view.