All posts by Matthew Allen Brown

Reminder: Network maintenance impacting Tinkercliffs and Infer clusters on Tuesday, Nov. 2nd.

An email notice to this effect was sent out to all members of the ARC user's group on October 20th. Here is a reminder:

We will have an outage on TinkerCliffs and Infer on Tuesday, November 2 from 4-8am so that network engineering can conduct critical updates to the switches that connect the Steger data center to the rest of campus. Cascades, DragonsTooth, and Huckleberry will remain operational during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

If a job is held in the queue in a pending state with reason: (ReqNodeNotAvail, Reserved for maintenance), the reservation of nodes in advance of the outage is the cause. You may leave your job in the queue and it will run when nodes are released from reservation after the maintenance.

Advanced Research Computing

Welcome Week Open Houses: Fall 2021

This year, Advanced Research Computing (ARC) is hosting Virtual Open House sessions during "welcome week", August 16-20th. At these times, ARC personnel will be available via Zoom to introduce faculty, students, and researchers to the resources and services provided by ARC.

Here is the schedule:

Date Time
Monday, August 16, 2021 1:30-2:00pm
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 11:00-11:30am
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 1:30-2:00pm
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 1:30-2:00pm
Thursday, August 19, 2021 11:00-11:30am
Thursday, August 19, 2021 1:30-2:00pm
Friday, August 20, 2021 1:30-2:00pm

The Zoom links for the sessions are available on ARC's calendar which also has ARC's Office Hours schedule for those needing additional information or support using ARC's systems.

Summer 2021 Resources for Research Computing

Jump start your research this summer!

ARC has assembled some resources and links here that we hope will be helpful and timely for those engaged in research computing with ARC this summer.

Continue reading below for details about:

  • Getting Started On TinkerCliffs and Infer
  • Creating Software Modules
  • ARC Office Hours
  • Training and Carpentries Workshops


Get started on these new clusters brought online in 2020-2021!


Want a software package that ARC doesn\'t offer? We just posted two new videos about how you can add custom software packages to the module system on ARC clusters:

More video tutorials are here:
Let us know if there are other videos that you\'d like to see:

ARC is hosting virtual office hours each weekday via Zoom. Come join us to have a one-on-one dialog to get a broad overview of ARC, troubleshoot a tricky problem, or design your jobs. No registration is required and a calendar is posted above with the schedule and Zoom links.


Training opportunities:

We have expanded our Intro to ARC courses into a sequence of six 75 minutes courses to allow more time to dive into the some of the major aspects of using ARC systems at Virginia Tech:

Course Topics Date and Time
ARC1 Systems and Services Overview Wednesday, May 26 1:00-2:15
ARC2 Getting Connected Monday, June 1, 11:00-12:15
ARC3 Linux/BASH for HPC Monday, June 15, 1:00-2:15
ARC4 Running Jobs with SLURM Thursday, July 1, 9:00-10:15
ARC5 Scaling Up Monday, July 13, 10:00-11:15
ARC6 Software Monday, July 27, 11:00-12:15

The content for these courses will be tailored specifically to ARC\'s systems and follow in the spirit of these in-development HPC Carpentries lessons which you may find helpful as a self-guided introduction to understand and interact with current standard high-performance computing systems:

\"The Carpentries\" are an open content set of lessons that teach \"foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide.\" Virginia Tech has an actively growing community of certified instructors who conducts many workshops based on the carpentries lessons each year.

Some Software/Data Carpentries hosted by Virginia Tech:

  • Data Carpentry: Geospatial Data in R
  • Pre-fall Semester Carpentry courses in Unix, Git, Python, and R: August 2-13 (registration should open soon)

We\'re looking forward to working with you this summer!

ARC Presents at Division of IT’s DCSS

Twice each year, the Division of IT at Virginia Tech organizes a Departmental Computing Support Symposium (DCSS) to help comminicate updates or important information which may be of value or interest to anyone in a role of computing support at Virginia Tech.

Recordings and PDFs of the presentations from the Spring 2021 event, held on March 16 and 17, 2021 can be found here and ARC's presentation is here:

New ARC flagship CPU cluster Tinkercliffs featured in VT news

Tinkercliffs, ARC's most recent cluster, is online and is making news owing to its scale (more than 300 nodes and almost 42,000 CPU cores) and some of the challenges the acquisition and commisioning faced in the COVID-19 era.

See the news article here:

ARC also has a webpage for introducing Tinkercliffs to the VT community and will continue to add more resources in the coming months:

As of early October, access to the cluster is provided though a consultation with an ARC computational scientist. You may reach out to one of the team directly or submit a ticket requesting a consultation via