Software Stack Changes during Scheduled Maintenance

December 29, 2012 – January 4, 2013
Coates, Hansen, Radon, Rossmann

During the New Years' weekend holiday, all ITaP HPC resources will be unavailable due to a scheduled upgrade of research home directories.

While the systems are down they will also receive several updates to the software stack and modules. These updates include changes to available compilers, OpenMPI 1.6, and Matlab.

WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT TO OPENMPI?

We will be upgrading our OpenMPI 1.6 installations to the latest 1.6.3 version. This new version offers many performance and stability improvements for RCAC's RDMA and InfiniBand technologies. It is highly recommended that if you are using 1.6 that you upgrade to 1.6.3. We will be removing the 1.6 modules, however, if you need to continue using 1.6 the modules will be available via the "unsupported" module archive.

WHAT COMPILERS WILL BE IMPACTED BY THESE UPDATES?

Several old compilers are being removed:

  • Intel compilers prior to 12.0.084
  • PGI compilers prior to 11.8-0
  • GCC compilers prior to 4.4.0
  • Libraries that depend on the above compilers These compilers are being removed to make room for a new set of compilers. We will be introducing the following compilers:

  • Intel 13.0.1.117
  • PGI 12.10-0
  • Popular MPIs and libraries built with these compilers These new compilers offer bug fixes and enhanced performance and stability. Users are encouraged to send in any experiences with these new compilers to help us evaluate the direction of new compilers on RCAC systems. The default compilers will remain unchanged until these new compilers can be evaluated further.

    The default GCC compiler version will be upgraded on all systems as follows.

  • Carter, Peregrine1: GCC 4.4.5 to 4.7.2
  • All other systems: GCC 4.4.0 to 4.7.2
  • Popular MPIs and libraries will be built with GCC 4.7.2 This will provide a unified GCC software stack across all of our systems. If you need to continue using GCC 4.4.0 you may do so by explicitly loading "gcc/4.4.0".

    WHAT OTHER SOFTWARE WILL BE IMPACTED?

    There will be a few other miscellaneous upgrades including upgrading the default matlab module to R2012a and removing a couple old versions of Matlab. If you need to continue using the old default R2010a, you may do so by explicitly loading "matlab/R2010a", though it is recommended that you upgrade to R2012a.

    HOW DO I KNOW IF MY WORKFLOW WILL BE IMPACTED?

    Whenever a module that will be impacted is loaded a notice is printed to your screen or job output log. Please take a look at your job output over the next week or so and make note of any changes being advertised. You may continue using these modules until December 29th to allow time to make any changes necessary. Users are encouraged to make any changes necessary to avoid disruption when systems are returned to service.

    WHAT IF AN IMPACTED MODULE IS REQUIRED BY MY RESEARCH?

    We understand some users may not be able to change compilers or MPI libraries in the middle of a research project. These modules will be available in the "unsupported" archive. You may use the archive by adding "module load unsupported" to your job scripts (prior to loading any other modules).

    WHY ARE YOU CHANGING THE SOFTWARE STACK?

    RCAC aims to provide a software stack that allows for optimal use (performance and stability) of the clusters. This necessitates periodic updates to the stack as compilers, libraries, and software are improved over time. By removing older modules from the main stack we help ensure the selection is simple and easy for users to find the best compilers and libraries to use. If no modules were removed the selection would become difficult for users to understand and navigate as well become difficult for RCAC staff to manage. Any major changes will be coordinated with scheduled maintenance periods to minimize impact.

    Please send any questions or concerns with these changes to rcac-help@purdue.edu.

    For further information on the maintenance scheduled for 12/29/12 – 1/4/2013 please visit:

    Scheduled Maintenance - RCAC home directory upgrades

Originally posted: November 29, 2012