ICS@PSU: Institute for CyberScience

ACI Transition Spring 2017

The Institute for CyberScience is transitioning from "Legacy" systems to new ACI systems

To meet the growing need of Penn State faculty for access to high-performance computing systems and the university’s ambitious goals for energy conservation, the Provost has determined that “Legacy” systems operated by the Institute for CyberScience (ICS) will be decommissioned. Researchers will transition to new, more powerful, more energy-efficient systems.

ICS is currently implementing a transition plan that aims to minimize the impact of decommissioning on faculty research. To prepare for the transition of your project to the new systems, CLICK HERE.


More information about the plan is provided below. Here are additional supporting documents .

ICS Legacy Systems Decommissioning Plan

RCCI Executive Committee Recommendation Regarding Legacy Decommissioning

HPC Working Group Responses to Decommissioning

Provost Response to RCCI EC Report

RCCI Executive Committee Report on Power Shortfall


The ICS “Legacy” infrastructure (Lion-XF/Lion-XG/Lion-XV; Lion-XHershey; Hammer; CyberSTAR; and BioSTAR, Lion-LSP, and Lion-GA) has supported valuable research at Penn State for many years. But as the ICS team has worked to radically expand our compute offerings—including 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) —the growth has caused major strain on the power available between TRDC and the Computer Building DC.

ICS Legacy systems are less power-efficient than the new systems relative to the compute they provide, so they are making an outsized contribution to the power limitation problem. They also hamper our ability to meet University-wide energy consumption targets. And as the Legacy systems have aged, they have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Most of the equipment is more than five years old and out of warranty, requiring substantial investments of funds and staff time to remain functional. The systems continue to become less reliable over time, making further upkeep untenable.

In 2016 our team projected that by Spring 2017, that maximum power capacity would be reached, meaning significant computing demands could be unmet for researchers utilizing HPC—even for currently active research projects. ICS staff brought this likely power shortfall to the attention of the Provost in a June 2016 report by the Executive Committee of the Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure Governance (RCCI).

With support from the Provost, ICS drafted a plan to decommission Legacy systems and transition ACI users to new systems. Minimizing the impact of decommissioning on faculty research has been a top priority.

The plan was presented to 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, and feedback from the HPC community was considered and incorporated. After discussion and deliberation, the RCCI Executive Committee recommended the revised plan to the Provost, who has approved it.

The transition to new systems started in January 2017. Please visit the Transition Resources page for more information on what to expect for your research group.

Questions? Please contact Derek Leydig, ICS Client Project Manager.

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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