CISL Services

CISL has a proud tradition of providing world-class supercomputing and data services to its user community. From CISL’s services and support web pages, users can access CISL’s help desk and consulting services, as well as complete information about HPC systems, storage systems, data analysis and visualization systems, data collections, user documentation, and training. The quality of these services is and will remain a core value of the laboratory. However, the makeup of these services is not static: they continually change in concert with rapid changes in the underlying technologies and the scientific demands of our users:

  • CISL maintains and operates the physical facilities and cyberinfrastructure needed to support the atmospheric and related sciences.

  • A rich set of data collections is curated, managed, and archived for free and open access.

  • CISL creates essential, widely used software cyberinfrastructure such as data analysis and visualization tools and frameworks for modeling and science gateway construction.

  • User support and training are provided for all of these services.

  • All of these resources and services are integrated with regional and national cyberinfrastructure and services, and with the organizations that maintain them, such as the Front Range GigaPoP (FRGP), the Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium (RMACC), and NSF’s eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE).

In FY2015 CISL continued to operate the data-centric petascale Yellowstone supercomputing environment at the NWSC, including the 1.5-petaflops IBM iDataPlex supercomputer, the 16-petabyte central disk storage system known as NCAR’s GLobally Accessible Data Environment (GLADE), two data analysis and visualization systems, the HPSS data archive, high-speed wide-area networking, and high-performance data transfer and sharing services. A wide range of computing projects pursued the research frontiers of weather phenomena, climate change, space weather, solar physics, and more. Three years into Yellowstone’s production lifetime, CISL also began the NWSC-2 procurement effort in FY2015, which will lead to the NWSC’s next supercomputing system.

CISL’s software CI capabilities continued to make important advances in FY2015 as well, including a new version of DART being used in production by real-time WRF forecasters that uses the remote memory access (RMA) capability of MPI-2 to allow much larger models to work with DART; a new release of the NCAR Command Language (NCL) that included several new computational routines and improvements to internal parallel code for drawing raster graphics; two releases of PyNIO enhanced for parallelized workflows in climate model diagnostic packages; and improvements to the Visualization and Analysis Platform for Ocean, Atmosphere, and Solar Researchers (VAPOR) that include adding support for ocean modeling data and refactoring VAPOR’s architecture to facilitate third-party code enhancement. All of these tools are heavily used – for instance, NCL’s software was downloaded 21,547 times in FY2015.

This work is supported by NSF Core funding and other sources as specified in the following individual reports.