ARCHER Phase2 Upgrade

We can now confirm the details of the ARCHER Phase 2 upgrade which is due to take place in November.

Technical Details

The ARCHER system will be expanded with the addition of a further 10 cabinets of Cray XC30, using the same Intel IvyBridge processor technology currently in use in ARCHER. The upgrade is a result of an in-depth consultation process with users and the wider scientific communities using ARCHER. The clear message was that an expansion of ARCHER using the same technologies and configuration would be preferred and means that disruption for users is kept to a minimum. As a result, the research communities will be able to make maximum use of the service immediately.

Following the upgrade, ARCHER will consist of 26 cabinets containing a total of 4920 compute nodes. This equates to 118,080 cores. ARCHER's computing power will increase by approximately 60%, meaning ARCHER will have a theoretical top speed of over 2 Petaflops.

Upgrade Timeline

The upgrade is currently going to plan. The new equipment is in the UK and the site installation work is due to commence next week. The full schedule is as below. We will advise if the plan changes in any way.

  • 5th November 2014 : ARCHER Unavailable, Cooling System Upgrade
  • 11th-18th November : ARCHER Unavailable, Hardware Expansion
  • 18th-20th November : ARCHER Unavailable, Acceptance Testing
  • 20th November : ARCHER Unavailable, Special User Testing Period

In summary you should expect ARCHER to be unavailable from 0900 GMT on 11th November until 20th November. We will confirm the restart time at a later date. During all of the above outages, the ARCHER filesystems and login nodes will be available for the majority of the time. Users will still be able to login, manipulate files, and compile codes etc. Users for the special user testing period have already been identified and notified by the Research Councils.

Open Access Period

An open access period will run from 20th-24th November. During this period users jobs will be logged but not charged against their project budget. Users are encouraged to use the ARCHER system during this period to test their codes and to load the system.

Job charging will be resumed on 24th November at 1600 GMT. All jobs completing after this time will be charged.