December Newsletter: Legacy Compute Retirement and New GCE Compute
Hi, everyone! I hope everyone’s able to stay healthy and happy in these weird times! I’m still keeping up my pace on one newsletter a month to announce new services and features, and bring forth news on the pending retirement of the Legacy MCS account system.
Last call for Legacy Compute nodes
With that in mind, the first item to announce is that compute001.mcs.anl.gov, compute002.mcs.anl.gov, and compute004.mcs.anl.gov will be going permanently offline at 9AM on January 4, 2022. If you have data local on that machine, or cron jobs you wish to preserve, now is the time to handle that. Please note /sandbox and /scratch on MCS and CELS computers are to be considered volatile and are not backed up. The Legacy login nodes will remain in operation through March, so you can still access your home directories.
Later in January, these three retired servers will join the other compute servers in GCE. You can find more information on what’s available right now at https://virtualhelpdesk.cels.anl.gov/docs/linux/login-compute-and-home-nodes/.
New GCE Compute nodes
If you look at that page, you’ll see some new nodes as well. Specifically, three new servers:
- compute-macos-01.cels.anl.gov (Intel Core i7-8700B 3.20GHz, 64GB RAM, macOS 12.1)
- compute-macos-02.cels.anl.gov (Apple M1 8 Core, 16GB RAM, macOS 12.1)
- compute-07.cels.anl.gov (AMD EPYC 7453 28-Core Processor, 256GB RAM, running Ubuntu 20.04)
These nodes are available to all GCE account holders. They are (or soon will be) available on jenkins-gce.cels.anl.gov and git.cels.anl.gov for CI/CD loads. When the former Legacy nodes are brought up in GCE, they will also become Ubuntu 20.04 machines, and we’ll update our page accordingly. (At the time of this writing, compute-macos-01 is having connection issues which we’re working on.)
If there are particular architectures and OSes you’d like to see in the computing zoo, let us know and we’ll do what we can.
A reminder on the Legacy retirement timeline
The last item is a reminder on the timeline I announced last month with regards to the retiring of Legacy services. Our ideal goal is to have Legacy authentication servers (and everything that relies on them) offline in April of 2022. At the beginning of March, 2022, the Legacy login nodes will go away, which also means your method of accessing your legacy home directory will be no more. If you haven’t started migrating your data to GCE, please get that started, and let us know if you need help. We can always be reached at [email protected]
As we remove and retire old services, we are providing documentation and help on how to get yourself up and running on the new service. In some cases, there may be services we are providing in Legacy that we are not yet providing in GCE. That is typically because another service we are providing is generally able to fill the role of that old service.
If you’re reliant on a service that we do not yet provide, let’s have a conversation about that so I can find out what the solution might look like. We have to try to reduce the number of redundant services we provide in order to be able to keep what we are providing current and secure. At one point in 2020, I discovered that as a team we were supporting 11 servers providing 8 different versions of 4 types of Revision Control Systems, and that count only included Legacy and GCE. If we added LCRC and some of the smaller environments to the mix, it gets a lot worse. We’re trying to settle on git (via gitlab) as the RCS we’re providing in GCE. If we have to stand up other types, that’s what we’ll do, but it has to come with an examination of need first. If git doesn’t work, I’d like to help figure out why and if there are other existing solutions that would work. Each boutique service we provide is a chunk of effort we can’t spend elsewhere, and it feels important that we try to provide a diversity of services, rather than a diversity of servers providing a single service.
By now, you probably already know about these, but if not, it’s worth checking out. BIS has put together some pages on Remote Work and Hybrid meetings.
- Remote Work guidelines/tips: https://www.anl.gov/telecommuting
- Hybrid Meetings: https://my.anl.gov/bis/page/hybrid-meetings
That’s it for December. I hope you all have a lovely break and get to spend the time in the way that makes you happiest. Stay warm, stay safe! Whatever holiday you choose to celebrate, do it with the appropriate amount of gusto!