Computing Services

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Tagged: High Performance Computing

Bath's 6th Annual HPC Symposium

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

HPC Symposium 2017 - Delegation

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the 6th Annual HPC Symposium on Monday!

"We have seen the symposium go from strength to strength and become established as a key event for bringing together the University's community of HPC developers and users. This year's symposium was excellent, with talks and posters that highlighted the variety and breadth of HPC usage across the campus, and outstanding keynote talks from two of the UK's leading HPC researchers. My thanks to the organisers who, once again, did a great job."
 - Prof David Bird, Chair of the HPC Management Group

This year, over 60 participants attended from within the University along with guests from the University of Bristol, University of Glasgow and from ClusterVision. There was a vibrant array of multi-disciplined contributions from our two keynote speakers, short talks and quick-fire flash presentations (Symposium Programme). The Symposium provided a great opportunity for networking and for learning about new developments in hardware, software and numerical techniques.

Our first keynote speaker, Prof Simon McIntosh-Smith (University of Bristol), Head of the HPC Research Group, discussed how to deal with the increasingly diverse range of competing architectures that software developers are faced with, many of which are available on Bath's own Balena HPC facility. Prof David Britton (University of Glasgow), who is a member of the ALTAS project at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and leads the GridPP project, gave our second keynote and talked about the evolution of the Worldwide LHC computing grid and how this specialised research infrastructure is helping our understanding of the Universe.

HPC research at the University is innovative and various

The contributions from our community showcased the sheer variety of innovative HPC work being done across the University, covering:

  • modelling of rare events and aerospace composites;
  • designing buildings for thermal comfort;
  • molecular dynamics;
  • using GPUs to model the sea floor and the low frequency radio sky;
  • simulating quantum lattice states;
  • analysing global air quality; and
  • optimising partial differential equation solvers.

Thank you and congratulations

We would like to say a big thank you to the contributors, attendees, keynote speakers, session chairs and ground crew, who together made this meeting a day to remember.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate our two prize winners, Jack Betteridge (SAMBa CDT, Mathematical Sciences) and Will Saunders (Mathematical Sciences), once again for their outstanding contributed talk and flash/poster presentation.

We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Best wishes,
Dr Steven Chapman (Computing Services)
Dr David Miranda (ACE)
Dr Jonathan Skelton (Chemistry)


For more images, see our @BathHPC twitter feed





Bath 6th Annual HPC Symposium - 12th June 2017

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

We are looking forward to the 6th Annual Symposium on High Performance Computing (HPC) in just a few days time, on Monday, 12th June 2017, over in the Chancellors' Building.

We have had 63 registrations from staff and students across the University. There is an exciting programme lined up with two fantastic keynotes from Prof Simon McIntosh-Smith and Prof David Britton, 9 contributed talks and an active set of quick fire flash poster/talks to look forward to. This will be an excellent opportunity to get an overview of the broad research being done by our growing HPC community here at Bath, and to discuss your own work with others and exchange ideas.

The full schedule is available on the link below and a detailed programme can be found here:


Keynotes speakers:

We are pleased to announce two Keynote speakers for the 6th Annual Symposium on HPC.

The first Keynote will be from Simon McIntosh-Smith, from the University of Bristol, who will give a talk entitled: "Xeon and Pascal and POWER, oh Phi!”: how to cope in a world of increasingly diverse architectures".

Simon is a Professor of High Performance Computing and the Head of the Microelectronics Research Group. Just to mention some of his roles, he is a contributor to both the OpenCL and OpenMP parallel programming standards, regular member of the programme committee for IEEE/ACM SuperComputing and ISC and member of the EPSRC Archer national supercomputer design team.

Simon's research interests include: Performance portability, Application-based fault tolerance (ABFT), New algorithms for novel architectures, Heterogeneous, many-core processor architectures, including GPUs, Xeon Phi, FPGAs, DSPs etc., Scaling applications to run on millions of cores (Exascale computing).
The second Keynote will be from David Britton who is a member of the ATLAS collaboration, one of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN ( He will give a talk entitled: "Evolution of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid".

David is a professor of physics at the University of Glasgow and Project Leader of the GridPP project that provides Grid computing for particle physics throughout the UK. He is a member of the ATLAS collaboration, one of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN with an interest in Higgs decaying to a pair of tau-leptons. Previously he worked on CMS, another of the LHC experiments, qualifying the crystals that make up the end-caps of the electromagnetic calorimeter. He has also worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (the BaBar experiment); Cornell (the CLEO experiment); and at DESY in Hamburg (the ARGUS experiment) with an emphasis on tracking detectors. Earlier work at TRIUMF in Vancouver established the most stringent limits on lepton universality through rare pion decays.

He has been involved with the GridPP project since conception in 2000 and was one of the lead authors of the proposals for all three phases. Initially appointed as Project Manager, he took over as the GridPP Project leader in 2008. GridPP is a collaboration of Particle Physicists and Computing Scientists from 19 UK Universities together with the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory and CERN, who have built a Grid for Particle Physics.


Balena system maintenance: 14th - 21st July 2017

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC)

On the weekend on 15/16th July there will be essential maintenance being carried out on the 5 West data-centre. For this work to be carried out, Balena will need to powered down for that weekend. Following on from this planned service interruption we are going to keep Balena offline for the following week to carry out our own essential maintenance on Balena, see details below.

Duration: 4pm, 14th of July to 21st July 2017

ClusterVision and the HPC Team will be working on the system during this period.

To note: -

  • All jobs will need to be dequeued before the Balena shutdown - we will put in a reservation to make sure there are no jobs in running state when the system in shutdown.
  • Balena will not be accessible, including your data, during this maintenance period.

Maintenance activities: -

  • Test emergency shutdown of Balena.
  • Upgrade OS (minor kernel update and security patches) on all nodes
  • Upgrade Bright Cluster Manager
  • Upgrade OFED (Infiniband driver + libraries) on all nodes and reinstall MPI libraries
  • Upgrade MySQL database on master nodes
  • BeeGFS - Parallel File-system
    • Firmware update
    • Enable user quota on inodes and data usage (informational only)
    • Re-tune meta-data partition

Please contact us at if you have any issues.

Team HPC


EPSRC launches six new Tier2 HPC Centres

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📥  Computing Services, High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has just launched six new High Performance Computational (HPC) Centres, worth a combined £20 million, at the Thinktank Science museum in Birmingham. These new Tier2 regional centres are aimed at supporting both academics and industry providing access to a diverse range of powerful supercomputers for scientific research and engineering.

These Tier2 systems will sit between the National Tier1 (e.g. ARCHER) and local campus Tier3 systems (e.g. Balena), addressing the gap in capability between these two levels. This new layer of Tier2 HPC will enable new discoveries and drive innovation, it will be open to any UK ESPRC researcher and provide easy local access, and be integrated with the HPC ecosystem across the UK, both vertically into Tier1 and Tier3 systems and horizontally to other Tier2 centres.  The Tier2 Centres will provide access to new and advanced technologies such as Intel’s Knights Landing (KNL) Xeon Phi, NVIDIAs Pascal, POWER8, 64-bit ARM and data burst buffers. To complement this minefield of diverse technologies, all six Centres will provide support though Research Software Engineers (RSEs) to assist with the training and skills development, porting and optimisation of applications and codes.


Great Western 4 (GW4) HPC Centre for Advanced Architectures: Isambard
Isambard, after Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, will be the first of its kind 64-bit ARM-based supercomputer providing multiple advanced architectures within the same system to enable evaluation and comparison across a diverse range of hardware platforms in a production environment. This is a joint project between the GW4 Alliance (universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) together with Cray Inc. and the Met Office. The service will provide over 10,000 high performance ARMv8 cores, as well as NVIDIA P100 and Intel Xeon Phi (KNL) accelerators cards.

A National Facility for Peta-scale Data Intensive Computation and Analytics: Peta-5
Peta-5, a multi-disciplinary facility providing large-scale data simulation and high performance data analytics designed to enable advances in material science, computational chemistry, computational engineering and health informatics. This project, led by University of Cambridge, will provide peta-flop performance across Intel’s KNL, GPU, x86 computational architectures and peta-scale storage on spinning disk and tape storage.

Hub in Materials and Molecule Modelling: Thomas
Thomas, after the polymath Thomas Young, a Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) Hub will have applications in energy, healthcare and the environment. The project is led by UCL, with partners in the Materials Chemistry Consortium (MCC) and UKCP, and will provide a large x86-64 based system.

Joint Academic Data science Endeavour: JADE
JADE, led by the University of Oxford, will provide the largest GPU-based system in the UK. Working with NVIDIA, will provide around 3.7 Petaflops of performance using NVIDIA’s latest DGX-1 platform, which makes use of the new NVlink technology.  This centre will be optimised for Deep Learning which will greatly benefit research applications involved in machine learning, image/video/audio analysis and molecular dynamics.£3m-awarded-oxford-led-consortium-national-computing-facility-support-machine

HPC Midlands Plus
HPC Midlands Plus will primarily focus on data-intensive applications in fields ranging from engineering, manufacturing, healthcare and energy. Led by Loughborough University, the Centre will provide a large x86 based system, to accompany this will be a modest sized component of POWER8 systems each with 1TB memory.

Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC): Cirrus
Cirrus, will be hosted by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC). It will offer over 10,000 x86 cores to both science and industry. This will nicely complement EPSRC’s National HPC service, ARCHER. As part of this project, EPCC will host a mini-RDF (Research Data Facility) to provide common object-based data store to the Tier2 ecosystem and other supercomputers.


Recent press releases about the launch:




Save the date - 6th Annual Symposium on HPC on 12th June 2017

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

We are pleased to announce that the 6th Annual Symposium on High Performance Computing will be healed on Monday 12th June 2017.

This symposium organized by the University of Bath we will bring together staff, researchers and students working with HPC in the different areas of science and engineering along with other invited specialists of the field.

Save the date in your agenda and don’t miss the opportunity for networking and get in touch with the exciting developments on HPC.

Best regards,
The Organising Committee


5th Annual HPC Symposium was a great success

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

Attendees of the 5th HPC Symposium

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the 5th Annual Bath HPC Symposium yesterday. Following the trend from previous years, the event was a great success for the University.

This year represented the fifth symposium and the event was attended by over 50 participants from within the university, collaborators, as well as external partners including Intel. The schedule for the day included contributions from across the University: physics, maths, chemistry, biology; mech-eng, elec-eng and chem-eng; management and architecture. These contributions showcased the sheer variety of innovative HPC work being done across the University, covering including molecular dynamics and quantum-chemical simulations through to high level finite-element methods to solve engineering problems. The Symposium provided a great opportunity for networking and for learning about new developments in hardware, software and applications.

We would like to say a big thankyou to the contributors, attendees, keynote speakers, session chairs and ground crew, who together made this meeting a day to remember.

Also, we would like to congratulate our two prize winners, Tobias Brewer and Will Saunders, once again for their outstanding poster presentation and contributed talk.

Best wishes,
Steven, Jonathan and Roshan


5th Annual HPC Symposium - Keynote Speakers

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

We are pleased to announce two keynote talks for the upcoming 5th Annual Bath HPC Symposium on Thursday 9th June.

The first keynote will be given by Dr Tom Connor from Cardiff University, titled "The Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics (CLIMB); overcoming barriers to software use and data sharing in biology".

Genome sequencing has made it possible to examine fundamental biological questions over vast scales; from bacteria to man. Since the first bacterial genome was published 20 years ago, research focused around bacterial pathogens has been at the very vanguard of the revolution that has transformed biology into a data rich, data intensive field of science. Thomas will discuss how cloud approaches are being used in the MRC’s £8.5m CLIMB project to overcome key challenges that exist for most biologists today.

The second keynote will be delivered by Andy Mallinson from Intel. Andy will give us an overview of the Xeon Phi (MIC) architecture, some tips and tricks for developing, optimising and porting HPC codes to use them, a glimpse of Intel's future roadmap and the benefit these development will have for next-generation HPC systems.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind those who have not yet registered to do so, and to encourage participants to submit an abstract for a contributed talk or poster on their research.

Registration is currently open at (deadline: Friday 27th May), and information about abstract submission can be found on the symposium website at (deadline: today, Friday 13th May).

We will be in touch again with further updates soon.

Best wishes,
Jonathan and Steven



5th Annual HPC Symposium - Abstract Submission Now Open

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

Abstract submission for the 5th Annual Bath University HPC Symposium on Thursday 9th June is now open [please note that the day (Tuesday) in the earlier announcement was a typo!].

We would like to invite submissions for talks and poster presentations on all aspects of HPC-orientated research, including:

  • HPC driven research in all disciplines
  • Code parallelisation and algorithm development
  • Experiences with tools/libraries and the scalability of computational codes
  • Experiences with accelerator hardware (e.g. GPUs and Xeon Phis)

We would like this year to highlight the HPC research being done by postgraduates, so there will be a dedicated session for students presenting posters to give a five-minute flash presentation to introduce themselves and their work. A prize of an iPod Nano will be awarded for the best student flash/poster presentation.

Contributed talks will be scheduled for 15 minutes (12 mins + 3 mins questions).
There will also be a prize of an iPad Mini for the best overall contribution to the symposium.


LaTeX and Word templates are available from the symposium website at:

Please send your submissions to, remembering to rename files with your username (e.g. “abstract_jms70.doc”).

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 13th May, and presenting authors will be notified the following week.

Also, we would like to remind those who haven’t registered yet to do so. Registration is free (including refreshments) and is now open at:

and will close on Friday 27th May.

More information, including an up-to-date schedule, can be found on the symposium website.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Best wishes,
Jonathan and Steven


5th Annual HPC Symposium - First Announcement

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC), Research

We are pleased to announce the 5th Annual Bath University HPC Symposium, which will take place on:
Thursday, 9th June from 09:30 - 18:00

Registration is free (including refreshments) and is now open at:

The deadline for registering is Friday 27th May.​

The details are still being finalised, but as in previous years we will mix keynote speakers with talks and poster presentations by Balena users. As is tradition, prizes will be awarded for the best contributions.

Refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided during the day, and we will have an informal early-evening networking session with refreshments and pizza.

We'll be in touch shortly with information about abstract submission.

More information, including an up-to-date schedule, can be found at:

We look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes,
Jonathan and Steven


Balena HPC maintenance 11th April 2016

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📥  High Performance Computing (HPC)

On Monday 11th April, the Balena HPC cluster will be unavailable due to maintenance work. Part of this work will include ClusterVision performing a full health check to ensure Balena is running at optimal performance. During this time, all jobs will be held in the queue and, for safety, you will not be able to access the cluster via SSH.

The Balena cluster will be unavailable from 07:00 on Monday 11th April and the cluster will be release back into service later that day.