ICS@PSU: Institute for CyberScience

BioSTAR Transition Information

Details about the process of transitioning BioSTAR users to ICS-ACI

To transition BioSTAR users to the new ICS-ACI system, ICS and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences have created a migration plan. Read on for details about the plan, information about the transition process, and key dates. 

Migration Plan

  • ICS will make available a liaison who will provide technical/consultative support to PI groups transitioning from BioSTAR. 
  • The BioSTAR system will be shut off on October 31, 2017. 
  • BioSTAR Compute users will be transitioned to the ICS-ACI Open Queue. More details on the ICS-ACI Open Queue can be found at https://ics.psu.edu/advanced-cyberinfrastructure/access-models/open-queue
    • If the Open Queue will not meet your needs, please contact ICS at aci-info@ics.psu.edu to get more information about obtaining a GReaT allocation.
    • If a BioSTAR PI had a BioSTAR storage allocation, they will receive a Try-ACI active storage allocation that lasts until October 31, 2018. The size of the new allocation will be equal to the PI’s BioSTAR storage, rounded up to the closest 5 TB block (ICS-ACI storage is allocated in 5 TB blocks). 
  • BioSTAR users who also use other legacy resources will have all of their resources transitioned at once. Your liaison will have more details on how the transition of your other resources will proceed. 

Transition Process Steps

1. Submit Intake Form

PIs will fill out an intake form and submit it to ICS by July 1. The purpose of the intake form is to gather information about your usage of BioSTAR, such as when you are available to transition, the members/collaborators of your PI group, whether you possess controlled data like dbGAP, and what software packages your group requires. Your liaison will use this information to help you transition smoothly. Please fill out the entire form before submitting. 

2. Request and Activate Accounts

All users transitioning to ICS-ACI will need a new account to use the system. Learn more about requesting accounts here. When you submit your request, ICS staff will create and activate a new account for you. Users need to have active accounts prior to onboarding, so please request an account now

3. Sign SLA

PIs with BioSTAR storage will sign a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) for a Try-ACI active storage allocation that will last until October 31, 2018. The size of the new allocation will be equal to the PI’s BioSTAR storage, rounded up to the closest 5 TB block (ICS-ACI storage is allocated in 5 TB blocks). PIs requiring additional compute and storage resources will work with ICS on a GReaT core allocation. 

4. Transfer Storage

ICS will transfer the PI’s Group storage directory to ICS-ACI using the rsync tool. Users are responsible for transferring any Home, Work, and Scratch files that you wish to keep. ICS will not transfer files in your Home, Work, and Scratch directories. If you require assistance in transferring files from your Home, Work, or Scratch directory, please submit a ticket to the ICS i-ASK Center.  

To speed the movement of your data, please consider 

  • including only files that you need to be transferred on your Group Directory when ICS transfers your data; 
  • organizing your files into separate directories; and 
  • compressing many files into a single .tar or.zip archive 

5. Onboard to ICS-ACI 

ICS will work with the PI groups to get them up and running on ICS-ACI. This includes 

  • several general onboarding sessions to orient new ICS-ACI users to the system; 
  • assistance with software compilation; and 
  • “smoke-testing” codes for operation on ICS-ACI. 

NOTE: Onboarding sessions will cover essential tasks such as logging in to ICS-ACI, accessing your storage, and submitting jobs to the Open Queue or an allocation. Users are strongly encouraged to attend these onboarding sessions. 

6. Sign Off on Transition Completion

After onboarding, the PI (or a designated representative) will sign off by contacting their liaison and confirming that the PI is able to compute on the new system. At this point, ICS will remove the group’s access to BioSTAR.

Key Dates

July 1: Intake forms are to be completed and submitted to ICS by this date.

Sept. 7: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Sept. 13: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Sept. 19: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Sept. 22: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Oct. 4: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Oct. 9: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Oct. 17: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Oct. 26: Onboarding session/Open Queue Boot Camp

Oct. 31: BioSTAR shut-off


If you have any questions regarding the transition, please contact Derek Leydig at dml129@psu.edu.

Penn State Institute for CyberScience

Help us build the future. Contact ICS at Penn State.

  • email: ics@psu.edu
  • phone: ICS-ACI Support (i-ASK Center): 814-865-4275 | General Inquiries: 814-867-1467

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