BlueBEAR (Linux HPC)



BlueBEAR provides a High Performance Computing (HPC) service that, like the other BEAR services, is free at the point of use to all researchers at the University.

Following significant investment both in terms of hardware and staff time this year, we are pleased to announce that the latest generation of BlueBEAR HPC is now live and fully operational. All users and their work have been migrated.

What’s New?

The new BlueBEAR employs some of the latest technology to deliver fast and efficient processing capacity for researchers while minimizing energy consumption by using direct, on-chip, water cooling. Built on Lenovo’s NeXtScale servers, the new cluster has a number of other notable features, including more cores and memory per node, larger ‘large’ memory nodes and a new automated workload manager, SLURM.  There have also been a few tweaks to the way the resource is shared but the underlying principles remain the same, including the ‘free at the point of use’ policy for University research groups. 

BlueBEAR is powered by approx. 2000 cores with 100Gb EDR Infiniband interconnect; all tightly coupled with the wider BEAR including the Research Data Store (RDS). Go to current BlueBEAR configuration for further detail.

We are already seeing the benefits of this regeneration, particularly to the throughput of the high volume of short running or single core jobs made possible by the removal of the limitation that only a single user could have access to a node.

What’s Next?

In parallel with the upgrade to the processing capacity of BlueBEAR, we have also been planning the replacement of the closely-coupled storage (dedicated to active processing on the cluster). The new storage has a number of upgraded or additional features, all designed to boost efficiency and throughput. Follow this link to find out more about the new storage and its capabilities. The storage infrastructure is installed and tested. Implementation/user cut-over will follow shortly.

Information and Help

Please use the right hand navigation panel for lots of useful information to support your use of BlueBEAR, including details of the applications we provide and help submitting jobs. All users must register in order to use the service. The Registration link explains the process and provides guidance to get you started.

Continuing Investment and Growing BlueBEAR

Finally, we would like to ask for your support in continuing to justify the investment in HPC by acknowledging use of BlueBEAR in your publications (A possible form of words can be found here along with a form to notify us of publication which will allow us to further publicize your research in conjunction with the BlueBEAR service).

If you still have questions or are struggling, see ‘Contact Us’ for the best routes to support.

Last modified:  5 September 2017