Though it has supported valuable research for many years, the ICS Legacy infrastructure (Lion-X; Hammer; CyberSTAR; BioSTAR) has begun to be problematic. We are radically expanding our compute offerings, tripling the size of ICS-ACI, adding new compute and storage options, and moving our hardware into the newly built Tower Road Data Center (TRDC). This growth has caused major strain on the power available between TRDC and the Computer Building DC. By Spring 2017, it is projected that maximum power capacity will be reached, leaving the potential for significant computing demands to be unmet for researchers utilizing HPC, even for currently-active proposals. The power shortfall was brought to the attention of the Provost in a report by the Executive Committee of the Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure Governance (RCCI) in June. Because the Legacy systems are less power-efficient than the new systems relative to the compute they provide, they are making an outsized contribution to the power limitation problem and also hamper our ability to meet University-wide energy consumption targets.
Second, as the Legacy systems have aged, they have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Most of the equipment is well over 5 years old and out of warranty, requiring substantial investments of both funds and staff time to keep them functional. The systems continue to become less reliable over time, making further upkeep untenable.
In response to these circumstances, the Provost has determined that the Legacy systems must be decommissioned to meet these pressing limitations on power, resources, and space. Given the need for decommissioning, we will take whatever steps we can to lessen the impact on PIs.
To this end, ICS drafted a transition plan that aimed to minimize the impact of decommissioning. The plan was presented to the various faculty governance groups, including the ICS Coordinating Committee and the HPC Working Group of the Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure Governance structure (RCCI). Additionally, Legacy partners were provided the opportunity to offer input. Feedback from the HPC community was considered and incorporated as necessary. After discussion and deliberation, the RCCI Executive Committee recommended the revised plan to the Provost, who has approved it.
The full details of the plan, as well as some supporting documentation, are provided below.
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