PACE A Partnership for an Advanced Computing Environment

July 18, 2016

PACE quarterly maintenance – July ’16

Filed under: tech support — admin @ 11:01 pm

Dear PACE users,

Quarterly maintenance is once again upon us.  Starting at 6:00am TOMORROW MORNING, all resources managed by PACE will be taken offline.  Maintenance will continue through Wednesday evening.  Our activities are adhering to our originally published two-day schedule.

As a heads up, please make note of our Fall maintenance, which is now scheduled to begin at 6:00am on Thursday, October 13 and continue through Saturday, October 15.  Please note that this is a three-day period, including weekend work.  Further details to come as we get closer to October.

As previously communicated, our original plan to update various system software components in July has been deferred to a future maintenance period.  We will be in touch in advance of the October maintenance with details on this, including where you can test your codes against the updated software.  (highly recommended!)

Our major activity this time around will be updates to our GPFS filesystems and DDN storage devices.


  • We have acquired a new DDN SFA-7700, to which we will transition the scratch space.  This will provide more consistent scratch performance, a path for future capacity and performance increases, and provide as good or better performance to what we have now.  Initially, the SFA-7700 will provide approximately 375TB of space.  We will be increasing this to the 500TB we have currently as soon as additional disks can be procured.  No user action will be required.  We currently have approximately 220TB in use on scratch, so we do not expect this temporary decrease in available capacity to be an inconvenience.
  • We have DDN engineers engaged to update firmware and software on our current SFA-12k.  This will provide additional management and quality-of-service features, as well as the ability to transition to larger capacity drives.  Additionally, we will reallocate the drives previously used for the scratch space to provide additional project space capacity and metadata performance.  No user action will be required.
  • To support the two above updates, we will also be upgrading the version of the GPFS client software (where installed) from version 3.5 to version 4.2.  No user action will be required.

Electrical work

  • Facilities electricians will be performing some electrical work in the data center that will require the power to be temporarily removed from a number of our racks.  This work is to support some newly purchased equipment.  No user action will be required.

Bonus objectives

  • Additionally, as time permits, we will upgrade the network on some of our schedulers to 10-gigabit, and add additional local logging storage.  This will not affect the Gryphon, NovaZohar or Tardis clusters.  No user action will be required.
  • Also as time permits, we will continue the transition away from diskless nodes.  This mainly affects nodes in the 5-6 years old range.  No user action will be required.

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