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Allocation Year Transition: 2021 to 2022

The NERSC 2021 Allocation Year (AY21) ends at 7 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. AY22 runs through Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Below is information related to the Allocation Year Transition plans. All times listed are Pacific Time, and all dates are in 2022 unless otherwise specified.

Changes Prior to the Transition

The following changes will be implemented in preparation for the AY transition. 

Account Creation/Validation Moratorium January 12-18

No user accounts will be created between Wednesday, January 12 at noon and Wednesday, January 19 at 8 a.m.

No More New Project (ERCAP) Requests for AY21 after October 4, 2021

ERCAP requests for AY2021 projects are no longer being accepted.

Allocation Year Transition Process

IRIS Banking and Account Management System Downtime

The IRIS accounting web interface will be unavailable from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 19.

Web browser sessions that are active in the IRIS web interface before the downtime must be refreshed by logging out and then logging back in, in order to display accurate information for the new allocation year.

Scheduled System Downtimes

Cori will be unavailable during maintenance from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19.  Perlmutter will have no downtime, however, some Slurm commands may experience a short duration of unavailability while syncing with the IRIS database for the new allocation year. 

After the Allocation Year transition, the following queued jobs on both Cori and Perlmutter will be deleted:

  • jobs associated with non-continuing projects
  • jobs associated with a continuing project that the user is no longer a member of for AY22
  • "premium" jobs from users who no longer have access to the "premium" QOS
  • "overrun" jobs
  • held jobs older than 12 weeks

NoMachine will have the scheduled maintenance from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 19.  Engineers will be performing minor internal NoMachine configuration updates.

Spin will have the scheduled maintenance from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 19. Rancher 2 workloads and Rancher 1 services using global filesystems may be sluggish or hang while storage servers are upgraded.

AY 2022 Charging on Cori Begins on January 20

Charging for AY22 on Cori will begin on Thursday, January 20 at midnight (the first moments of the day). Any jobs run after the maintenance concludes but before January 20 will not be charged for the time they used on January 19. Perlmutter remains free of charge until further notice.

Updates for AY22

New Charging Factors for Cori and Perlmutter CPU

New charge factors for the KNL and Haswell nodes on Cori, and Perlmutter CPU will be in effect for AY22 to be based on Perlmutter CPU hours. The CPU charging unit is also changed from “NERSC hours” to “CPU Node hours”. One "CPU Node Hour" is the equivalent of 400 "NERSC Hours". Please see a quick summary of changes in the table below:

 Charging UnitCori HaswellCori KNLPerlmutter CPU
AY2022 CPU Node Hours 0.34 0.2 1.0
AY2021 NERSC Hours 140 80 N/A

Note: The Perlmutter GPU charging unit will be 1 based on Perlmutter GPU hours, and Perlmutter CPU and GPU usage are free of charge initially until further notice.

More information can be found on the Resource Usage Policy page.

New Default Python Module at AY Transition, all Python modules will support conda activate

On Jan 19, 2022 at the AY rollover, Python users should be aware that we will change our Python and Python3 default Cori modules to python/3.9-anaconda-2021.11. Please note that older Python modules will remain available, but users must specify the full module name to continue to use them. 

Updates in this module include:

  • Python 3.9
  • Support for conda activate
  • mamba 0.7.6 (a faster alternative to conda)
  • netcdf4 1.5.8
  • mpi4py 3.1.3
  • authlib 0.15.4 (support for NERSC’s Superfacility API:

 This module is available via module load python/3.9-anaconda-2021.11, so we encourage you to test it now.

At the AY rollover, we will retroactively change the behavior of all Cori Python modules to support conda activate. Please see pending updates to our documentation for more details. As always if you have a question, please contact us via our helpdesk.

Note for pip users: pip users should be aware that pip packages installed via --user will be installed at $HOME/.local/cori/3.9-anaconda-2021.11 (defined by $PYTHONUSERBASE).

Note for Perlmutter users: the python/3.9-anaconda-2021.11 module is already the default on Perlmutter and conda activate functionality is already supported there. There are no scheduled Python module changes for Perlmutter. 

Cori OS Upgrade and New Default Environment in March 2022

In order to remain in compliance with minimum requirements for support from HPE/Cray, Cori will undergo an operating system (OS) upgrade during the scheduled maintenance on March 16, 2022.

At that time, we will also update the default user programming environment on Cori for the first time since January 2020. The default Cray Developer Toolkit (CDT) version will change from 19.11 to 21.09, and the Intel compiler default will change from to Detailed list of default software changes (including cray-mpich, cray-libsci, cray-netcdf, cray-hdf5, gcc, cce, intel, perftools, etc.) will be provided later. All NERSC-supported software will be updated to be compatible with the new OS and CDT. Users will need to relink all statically compiled codes.

No additional major OS upgrades or PE changes after the above are planned on Cori before it retires, except as needed for critical security or other concerns.

Allocations in AY22

AY22 Allocation Awards

The AY22 allocation award letters will be emailed to project PIs during the week of December 13, 2021. On January 19, new allocations of CPU time and mass storage will be in effect. Unused allocations from AY21 do not carry over into the new allocation year, except for ALCC projects. (ALCC projects should see the remainder of their 2021/22 ALCC awards reflected in their NERSC 2022 allocation. It may take one or two days for the continuing balance to be updated on our systems. 2021/22 ALCC time expires on June 30, 2022.)

PIs and/or PI Proxies for renewing projects must manually authorize each user in their project that should continue to be a member in AY22 and to enable selected users for using "premium" QOS. Authorizations must be completed by Friday, January 14. Instructions for performing the Continuing User and "premium" QOS authorization are available in the Iris documentation.

New Projects

When a new project is created, its initial membership consists only of the PI designated in the ERCAP proposal. The PI (and any users designated as Proxies) may add other users to the project after the new AY starts and the project has been activated. Instructions for adding users to projects can be found in IRIS Guide for PIs. In addition, new users may now request to have themselves added to projects; these user-initiated additions must then be approved by the PI or by a Proxy. See How to Get a NERSC Account. Users will not be able to request accounts in new projects until after the new AY starts.

New Users

Requests for new users for both the renewing and new projects may incur a delay while their identities are being vetted per DOE requirements.

Discontinued Users

After the new allocation year starts, a user will be considered "discontinued" if that user is not an authorized user in at least one active AY22 project. (Note: Users in 2021 projects are not automatically authorized for 2022; a PI or PI Proxy must authorize each user for 2022 via the Continuing User process. Instructions for this process will be emailed to PIs/Proxies when the process is available.)

All discontinued users will have limited login access to their authorized systems until February 21, 2022. Such users will be unable to submit batch jobs, but will be able to perform limited interactive tasks. The intent of this access is to allow discontinued users the ability to "clean up", e.g., transfer files back to their home institution or archive them in HPSS.

All discontinued users will continue to have write access to HPSS until February 21, and then read-only and delete access for another five months (until July 21, 2022).