Software Stack Changes in January

January 7, 2014
Coates, Hansen, Rossmann

On January 7th, there will be changes made to the software stack on ITaP's community clusters. A few software will have their default versions upgraded in favor of the newest versions. Many older and infrequently versions of software will also be removed in favor of newer versions.

WHAT SOFTWARE WILL BE IMPACTED?

There will be several changes to miscellaneous software. Older versions of some software will be removed in favor of newer versions. In most cases, these older versions are being infrequently used so most should not be impacted by these changes. Default versions of a few software will be updated to the latest version.

If any software you are using will be impacted by these changes you will see a notice message being printed to your session or in your job output files when loading an affected module. This notice will provide recommendations on the latest version. For software versions being removed it is recommended that you switch to the latest version, however, these older versions can be made available for use via the "unsupported" module archive upon request. For software versions undergoing a default upgrade you can continue using the old default by switching your "module load" to explicitly load the version.

Most of these changes only impact Coates, Rossmann, and Hansen as the Carter, Conte, Peregrine1, and Radon stack is more up to date.

The following software will see a default version update.

  • MATLAB
  • mvapich2
  • lammps (Carter/Conte)
  • octave (Coates/Rossmann/Hansen)

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 couple of weeks and make note of any changes being advertised. You may continue using these modules as-is until January 7th to allow time to make any changes necessary. Users are encouraged to make any changes necessary before then to avoid disruption when changes are made.

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. Modules involved in a default version update will continue to be available, however, you will need to update your job scripts to request the specific version of the module. If you are already loading specific versions no changes are necessary.

Older versions of software being removed can be made available in the “unsupported” module archive upon request. Several modules that are most likely to be requested are already populated in the archive. You may use the archive by adding "module load unsupported" to your job scripts (prior to loading the affected modules).

WHY ARE YOU CHANGING THE SOFTWARE STACK?

ITaP 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 to navigate as well become difficult for ITaP staff to manage. Any major changes will be coordinated with scheduled maintenance periods to minimize impact.

If you have any questions or concerns with the upcoming changes please contact rcac-help@purdue.edu

Originally posted: December 6, 2013