NAISS information week 40 2023

Dear colleagues,

Here comes an update about the work of NAISS, the National Academic Infrastructure for Supercomputing in Sweden. The present newsletter aims mainly at people that work in NAISS-related fields and roles within Swedish academia. It is complemented with a dedicated users newsletter sent to all NAISS users and a letter from NAISS chairman Jan-Eric Sundgren sent to university leaderships. 

NAISS and EuroHPCs coming system Arrhenius 

On June 15:th EuroHPCs decided to grant LiU and NAISS application about a Mid-range EuroHPC system in Sweden. The application was sent by LiU as requested by VR and the Government. A formal request for financing of the Swedish part of Arrhenius was sent from VR to the Ministry of Education and Research directly after the EuroHPC decision was taken. 

Unfortunately, this request for financing came in too late in the budget negotiations to be part of the normal process. This timing, together with the fact that the main funding need for Arrhenius was not for 2024 but 2025-2029 led to the Arrhenius-project was not given an explicit focus in the governments proposal for the budget for the year 2024. The need for a guarantee, already now, for future funding, was unfortunately not communicated clearly enough to the Ministry.

However, despite the lack of dedicated Arrhenius funding in the government budget for 2024, the Research Council has now reaffirmed to us that they are still committed to the Arrhenius project. There is an ongoing process at VR to solve if the financing will be a dedicated promise from the Ministry/Government or to be handled internally by VR. The Director General of VR has instructed NAISS and LiU to continue the startup process for Arrhenius and to inform our partner EuroHPC that there will be a formal decision about the solution to the financing of Arrhenius from VR during the fall.

NAISS steering committee decided on August 31 to place Arrhenius in Kärnhuset at LiU. The timeframe for Arrhenius did not allow for it to be included in the still ongoing process to investigate all options and establish a long-term National facility for hardware in Sweden. 

Right now the preparatory work is focused on juridical and administrative issues such as the Hosting Agreement, and other contracts between NAISS/LiU and EuroHPC as well as pre-preparations for the computer hall. Procurement is planned to be started in January 2024. During the fall, we will set up task-forces to start planning for the different aspects of Arrhenius, like the part for sensitive data, a cloud part, a part for continuous operations etc. 

NAISS branches

The overarching collaboration agreement that will be the foundation for NAISS delocalized user-support organization has been iterated between LiU and all large universities. An updated version will be sent to the universities for final review during this week. We foresee signatures to be in place during the fall. In parallel NAISS has sent suggestions for bilateral branch-agreements to all prospect branches and corresponding agreements to partner universities that opt-out of own branches. Also here we foresee signed agreements during the fall. 

In total, we plan for a user support organization within NAISS that will include more than 40 people, working in the branches, with specific contracts for NAISS, or at NAISS centrally. We are now recruiting support managers to lead the organization. Soon we will start to reach out to prospect NAISS personnel more broadly. We hope that many of you want to be a part of NAISS in our building for the future of HPC in Sweden! 

NAISS all-hands meeting and NAISS User Forum 5-6 December in Linköping

As a part of the startup of NAISS user support organization we would like to invite all interested persons to take part in our co-located NAISS all-hands meeting and NAISS User Forum 5-6 December in Linköping. Please book the dates and practical information will follow shortly. For prospect and already enrolled NAISS-branch personnel, the meeting will be a chance to engage in the build-up of the organization. The NAISS user forum will be a chance for all users of NAISS resources to influence the priorities of NAISS in this early phase and in particular to nominate people to Users Support Advisory Committee (USAC) that will advice on how to organize the support. 

Nominate to NAISS Scientific and Technology Advisory Board

The Scientific and Technology Advisory Board (STAB) has an important role in guaranteeing that NAISS keeps on top of the technological and scientific development within our fields of responsibility, acts and plans proactively, and is updated on the international trends. The membership of STAB shall cover high level competence related to the technological fields of our infrastructure, as well as the diverse scientific needs of our broad user community. We are looking for international experts, Swedish or non-Swedish, to take on this important role. Send your nominations to . 

A bridge-solution for Sensitive Data 

NAISS has decided on a bridge solution for users that do research on sensitive data until the Arrhenius systems is ready for them. The bridge solution includes extending the lifetime of the Bianca system in Uppsala until 2026-12-31 (previously 2024-12-31 was the end date), and to make additional hardware investments in computational nodes and storage to guarantee that it can handle the workload for two more years. The ambition level for this bridge solution is to allow for 10 PB of storage and to maintain or moderately increase the current computational power. Our view is that the long-term solution for sensitive data within NAISS will benefit from co-location with the needs from other users and be part of the Arrhenius system. The bridge solution also includes running and personnel costs and a dedicated personnel investment so that experts on sensitive data in Uppsala can work with designing sensitive data solutions for Arrhenius. The bridge solution is under final negotiations between NAISS and Uppsala University. 

Linköping 04 October 2023

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