As you may be aware, on April 5, the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the next generation of community cluster, to be named "Conte".
Since that time, ITaP staff have begun preparations for installing the new system, which will arrive on campus later this summer. Further details about Conte will be announced later this summer, including hardware specifications, pricing, and purchase information.
In order to take delivery of Conte and bring it to production, a physical relocation of the Carter cluster is required. This move of Carter has been scheduled to be performed from July 8 through the close of business July 16.
While this physical move will take an extended period of time - 9 days - this strategy will allow the move to be performed with only one downtime. Performing the move in this manner will also ensure that every part of Carter's nodes and network are re-validated and running at full speed and maximum reliability when the system returns to production.
No other option allowed ITaP engineers to physically move Carter in less time, while still ensuring the level of capacity and reliability that you expect from the community clusters.
Additionally, this maintenance will allow ITaP engineers to upgrade firmware in the InfiniBand fabric to improve performance and reliability, and deploy an updated application software stack based on the Intel verision 13.1 compiler.
While we would prefer to not have any extended interruption of production on Carter, it is important to ensure that you continue to have a quality computing experience on Carter and that the University sees the installation and friendly-user testing of Conte occur in a timely manner by the beginning of fall classes.
Please let us know at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns, or if you require alternate computing resources during this period.