What is the purpose of scheduled downtimes on the HPCC?

Anyone who has contacted tech support knows that the first question they ask is "have you tried turning it off and back on again?" A high-performance computing center (HPCC) also needs regular downtime and maintenance to keep things running smoothly. 

Reminder: Upcoming Maintenance Window

Beginning December 20, 2023, at 5 AM, ICER services will be offline for routine maintenance, with services expected to be restored by 7 PM on December 20, 2023. No jobs will run during this time. Jobs that will not be completed before December 20 will not begin until after maintenance is complete. For example, if you submit a four day job three days before the maintenance outage, your job will be postponed and will not begin to run until after maintenance is completed. Users should not notice changes to the system after service is restored. 

Stay updated about maintenance status on our announcement blog

The Purpose of Scheduled Downtime on the HPCC

We regularly schedule maintenance downtime to perform upgrades, apply security patches, or make changes that require system reboots or outages that could impact user jobs. This allows us to ensure a modern, reliable, and secure system that continues to support our users’ workflows without unintentionally interrupting user jobs.

ICER's leadership, system administrators, and research consultants collaborate to decide what changes need to be made to the HPCC hardware and software. The changes made during a scheduled downtime follow four guiding principles. 

  • User Requests and Feedback – We work with the ICER user community to provide the software and hardware you need to support your workflow.
  • Improving Reliability and Availability – We monitor the uptime, reliability, and availability of our systems, and will target specific services for upgrades and re-architecture to ensure we’re providing the best possible reliability.
  • Market and Technology Trends – Technology is constantly changing. As such, we regularly meet with other institutions, researchers, and vendors to determine what is changing in the world of high-performance computing, and what changes we can adopt to stay ahead of shifting trends.
  • Security – As systems become more connected and are increasingly more automated, we work to ensure ICER’s systems are architected securely and all critical software is patched to protect against known security vulnerabilities.

If you have any questions about the upcoming downtime or the purpose of ICER's scheduled downtimes, please contact us.