October BEAR Newsletter

Tape library
Our new tape library capable of holding 14PB of data

Welcome to the BEAR Newsletter, bringing you the latest news from the BEAR team (Birmingham Environment for Academic Research), as well as other relevant computing and data-related news from both within the University of Birmingham and outside.

This month the Architecture, Infrastructure and Systems group have been busy configuring new IceLake compute nodes for BlueBEAR, which will be available shortly, and migrating backups from the old to new library – there is nearly 4PB of data to migrate! October’s newsletter includes how to get access to the HPC Mid+ Tier 2 HPC system, Sulis, and how to find out more about using our own Tier 2 system, Baskerville. We also include some useful short links for you to log tickets or queries with BEAR. 

In this newsletter we cover:

  • Postgraduate Researcher Induction Video
  • Adding Software to your PURE record
  • Call for Sulis (Tier 2 HPC) Project Proposals 
  • NVIDIA Baskerville Training
  • How to Log a Ticket with BEAR
  • CIUK Registration and Student Poster Competition
  • Code Review Clinic
  • Drop-in sessions 

Postgraduate Researcher Induction Video

We have re-recorded our video for new Postgraduate Researchers to provide an introductory talk on BEAR Services, the 13-minute long induction video may be useful for both new and existing PhD students – please share with your colleagues. 

Adding Software to your PURE record

Do you create software through your research? If so, read our blog post to find out how you can add it as a research output to your profile on PURE: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/bear/2021/10/18/pure-how-to-add-software-as-a-research-output/

Call for Sulis (Tier 2 HPC) Project Proposals

As an HPC Midlands+ consortium partner, we have access to the Sulis Tier 2 HPC facility, which provides access to CPU and GPU resources. The Tier 2 facilities are available when a researcher requires compute resources beyond those available on BlueBEAR (https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/bear/tier2hpc). We are currently accepting project proposals for the first six-month allocation period, which will run from November 2021 to April 2022. Project proposals should be submitted via the Service Desk, by 9am Monday 25th October. A call for projects on Baskerville (https://www.baskerville.ac.uk) will follow.

NVIDIA Baskerville Training 

The BEAR team is hosting an online event for Baskerville RSEs and any interested researchers on Friday 5th November. Paul Graham from NVIDIA will be presenting two separate sessions:

10am: HPC Session booking link – NVIDIA will present an overview of the GPU hardware available in Baskerville, and highlight tools and techniques to make efficient use of GPUs for High Performance Computing (HPC). Find out how to program for GPUs, how to use them efficiently, and which tools you can use to profile and debug your code.

11.30am: AI Session booking link – NVIDIA will highlight the GPU accelerated frameworks available for a broad range of applications in deep learning, data science and deployment of AI-based applications. As part of the launch of the new Baskerville Tier 2 AI Supercomputer, this session will include lots of examples of what can be achieved using the many tools and frameworks available to researchers. 

Baskerville Basics Training

Have you got access to Baskerville but don’t know how to get started using it? Gavin Yearwood, our new Research Applications Specialist, has developed a short training course called ‘Baskerville Basics’, which has tailored information on how users can quickly discover Baskerville’s capabilities and learn how to use its resources as efficiently as possible. You can read more about Baskerville Basics here: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/bear/2021/10/18/baskerville-basics/   

How to Log a Ticket with BEAR

You may not be aware that there are direct routes to create a Service Desk ticket with the BEAR team, without it needing to be triaged through the central IT Service Desk (these links require you to login to the Service Desk):

CIUK Registration & Student Poster Competition

Computing Insight UK (CIUK) is due to run in-person in Manchester over the 9-10th December, 2021 – early bird registration of £50 closes on 12th November. The theme for the Conference is ‘Heterogenous Computing’, there will be an exhibition showcasing the latest hardware and software releases plus two days of presentations and breakout sessions. Applications are currently being accepted for a student poster competition (deadline Sunday 24th October), with all finalists receiving free access to the Conference.   

Code Review Clinic

If you have recently started writing your own code for your research and would like to get feedback on it, then you can submit it to the Code Review Clinic run by the Software Sustainability Institute. Applications close on Wednesday 27th October – apply here: https://www.software.ac.uk/news/call-submissions-rs-camp-code-review-clinic

Virtual BEAR Drop-in Sessions 

We are running our virtual drop-in sessions via Zoom as it allows us to create breakout rooms to discuss particular questions face-to-face. You can use these sessions to find out more about BEAR in general and the advanced research computing facilities we provide or we can answer specific questions e.g. running jobs on BlueBEAR, using the BlueBEAR portal or how to migrate from BEAR DataShare. 

Current dates are listed here and below:

  • Tuesday 26th October 9:30-10:30am
  • Thursday 4th November 10–11am
  • Thursday 11th November 11am-12pm
  • Friday 19th November 10-11am
  • Thursday 25th November 1.30-2.30pm

To join the drop-in sessions, email bearinfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk and we will send you the Zoom link and instructions on joining. Please let us know the topic of your query, so we can find the most suitable BEAR team member to speak to you.

Missed last month's newsletter?

Find September's newsletter here.


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