Research Computing Resources at Lehigh University

Library & Technology Services

About Us?

  • Who?

    • Unit of Lehigh's Library & Technology Services within the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning
  • Our Mission

    • We enable Lehigh Faculty, Researchers and Scholars achieve their goals by providing various computational resources; hardware, software, and storage; consulting and training.
  • Research Computing Staff

    • Alex Pacheco, Manager & XSEDE Campus Champion
    • Steve Anthony, System Administrator
    • Dan Brashler, Computing Consultant

What do we do?

  • Hardware Support
    • Provide system administration and support for Lehigh's HPC clusters.
      • 2 University owned and 4 Faculty owned
    • Assist with purchase, installation and administration of servers and clusters.
  • Data Storage
    • Provide data management services including storing and sharing data.
  • Software Support
    • Provide technical support for software applications, install software as requested and assist with purchase of software.
  • Training & Consulting
    • Provide education and training programs to facilitate use of HPC resources and general scientific computing needs.
    • Provide consultation and support for code development and visualization.

Research Computing Resources

  • Maia

    • 32-core Symmetric Multiprocessor (SMP) system available to all Lehigh Faculty, Staff and Students
    • dual 16-core AMD Opteron 6380 2.5GHz CPU
    • 128GB RAM and 4TB HDD
    • Theoretical Performance: 640 GFLOPs (640 billion floating point operations per second)
    • Access: Batch Scheduled, no interactive access to Maia

    \[ GFLOPs = cores \times clock \times \frac{FLOPs}{cycle} \]

    FLOPs for various AMD & Intel CPU generation

Research Computing Resources

  • Sol
    • Lehigh's Flagship High Performance Computing Cluster
    • 9 nodes, dual 10-core Intel Xeon E5-2650 v3 2.3GHz CPU, 25MB Cache, 128GB RAM
    • 33 nodes, dual 12-core Intel Xeon E5-2670 v3 2.3Ghz CPU, 30 MB Cache, 128GB RAM
    • 13 nodes, dual 12-core Intel Xeon E5-2650 v4 2.3Ghz CPU, 30 MB Cache, 64GB RAM
    • Two nVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU cards per node (50 GPUs operational)
    • 1TB HDD per node
    • 2:1 oversubscribed Infiniband EDR (100Gb/s) interconnect fabric
    • Theoretical Performance: 34.003 TFLOPs (CPU) + 12.850 TFLOPs (GPU)
      • The GTX GPUs provide 443.65 TFLOPs of single precision processing.
      • Double precision performance from each GTX card is 257 GFLOPs compared to 736(883.2) GFLOPs from each 20(24)-core node.
    • Access: Batch Scheduled, interactive on login node for compiling, editing only

LTS Managed Faculty Resources

  • Monocacy - Ben Felzer, Earth & Environmental Sciences
    • Eight nodes, dual 8-core Intel Xeon E5-2650v2, 2.6GHz, 64GB RAM
      • Theoretical Performance: 2.662TFlops
  • Eigen: Heather Jaeger, Chemistry
    • Twenty nodes, dual 8-core Intel Xeon E5-2650v2, 2.6GHz, 64GB RAM
      • Theoretical Performance: 6.656TFlops
  • Baltrusaitislab - Jonas Baltrusaitis, Chemical Engineering
    • Three nodes, dual 16-core AMD Opteron 6376, 2.3Ghz, 128GB RAM
      • Theoretical Performance: 1.766TFlops
  • Pisces - Keith Moored, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
    • Six nodes, dual 10-core Intel Xeon E5-2650v3, 2.3GHz, 64GB RAM, nVIDIA Tesla K80
      • Theoretical Performance: 4.416 TFlops (CPU) + 17.46TFlops (GPU)
    • To be merged with Sol in Fall 2017.

Total LTS Managed Computational Resources

Cluster Cores CPU Memory CPU TFLOPs GPUs CUDA Cores GPU Memory GPU TFLOPS
Maia 32 128 0.640
Monocacy 128 512 2.662
Eigen 320 1280 6.656
Baltrusaitislab 96 384 1.766
Pisces 120 384 4.416 6 29952 144 17.472
Sol 1284 6208 46.752 110 281600 880 28.27
Total 1980 8896 62.893 116 311552 1024 45.742

Apply for an account

  • Apply for an account at the LTS website
    • Click on Services > Account & Password > Lehigh Computing Account > Request an account
    • Click on the big blue button "Start Special Account Request" > Research Computing Account
    • Maia
      • Click on "FREE Linux command-line computing"
    • Sol: PIs should contact Alex Pacheco or Steve Anthony, web request is not functional
      • Click on "Fee-based research computing"
      • Annual charge of $50/account paid by Lehigh Faculty or Research Staff, and
      • Annual charge for computing time

Allocation Charges - Effective Oct. 1, 2016

  • Cost per core-hour or service unit (SU) is 1¢
  • SU is defined as 1 hour of computing on 1 core of the Sol base compute node.

    • One base compute node of Sol consumes 20 SU/hour, 480 SU/day and 175,200 SU/year
  • PIs can share allocations with their collaborators

    • Minimum Annual Purchase of 50,000 SU - $500/year
    • Additional Increments of 10,000 SU - $100 per 10K increments
    • Fixed Allocation cycle: Oct 1 - Sep 30
    • Unused allocations do not rollover to next allocation cycle
    • Working on implementing a rolling allocation cycle, only for minimum purchase.
    • Total available computing time for purchase annually: 1.4M SUs or 1 year of continous computing on 8 nodes

Example Allocation Request

  • PI requires 100K SUs of computing time per year
    • One Purchase:
      • 100K SU for $1000/year
    • Multiple Purchases:
      • Initial 50K SUs for $500/year.
      • Multiple additional purchases of 10K SUs for $100 each as required.
  • All 100K SUs ( and ) must be used up by Sep. 30 of next year.

    • If rolling allocation cycle is implemented, then all 100K SUs ( and ) must be used up within 1 year of initial 50K purchase.
  • Need more than 175K SU/year or


Condo Investments

  • New sustainable model for High Performance Computing at Lehigh
  • Faculty (Condo Investor) purchase compute nodes from grants to increase overall capacity of Sol
  • LTS will provide for four years
    • System Administration, Power and Cooling, User Support for Condo Investments
  • Condo Investor
    • receives annual allocation equivalent to their investment for four years
    • can utilize allocations on all available nodes, including nodes from other Condo Investors
    • allows idle cycles on investment to be used by other Sol users
    • unused allocation will not rollover to the next allocation cycle.
    • can purchase additional SUs in 10K increments (minimum 50K not required)
      • and must be consumed in current allocation cycle
  • Annual Allocation cycle is Oct. 1 - Sep. 30.

Condo Investors

  • Two at initial launch

    • Dimitrios Vavylonis, Physics
    • Wonpil Im, Biological Sciences
    • Brian Chen, Computer Science & Engineering
    • Ed Webb & Alp Oztekin, Mechanical Engineering
    • Anand Jagota, Jeetain Mittal & Srinivas Rangarajan, Chemical Engineering
  • Total SU on Sol after Condo Investments: 11,247,840

Storage resources

  • LTS provides various storage options for research and teaching..
  • Some are cloud based and subject to Lehigh's Cloud Policy
  • For research, LTS provides a 1PB storage system called Ceph
  • Ceph is based on the Ceph software
  • Research groups can purchase a sharable project space on Ceph @ $200/TB/year
  • Ceph is in-house, built, operated and administered by LTS Research Computing Staff.
    • located in Data Center in EWFM with a backup cluster in Packard Lab
  • HPC users can write job output directly to their Ceph volume
  • Ceph volume can be mounted as a network drive on Windows or CIFS on Mac and Linux
  • Storage quota on
    • Maia: 5GB
    • Sol: 150GB

Sol, Maia & Ceph for Courses

  • Research Computing Resources; Sol, Maia & Ceph are available for use in registrar scheduled classes.
  • Maia: No charge, no special considerations
  • Sol: Provides
    • 1TB Ceph space per course ($200 paid by department)
    • An account per student ($15/student) paid by department that provides 500SUs per student
      • Allocations are given for the whole class based on number of students
      • Additional allocations can be purchased in blocks of 1000 SUs @ $10/block upto 10K SU
    • Accounts valid for current semester plus an additional two weeks
  • Ceph:
    • $200 per TB per course.
    • Paid for by department.

Accessing Research Computing Resources

  • All Research Computing resources are accessible using ssh while on Lehigh's network
  • Sol: ssh
  • Maia: No direct access to Maia, instead login to the polaris
  • Polaris: ssh
    • Polaris is a gateway that also hosts the batch scheduler for Maia.
    • No computing software including compilers is available on Polaris.
    • Login to Polaris and request computing time on Maia including interactive access.
  • If you are not on Lehigh's network, login to the ssh gateway to get to Research Computing resources.
    • ssh

Available Software

  • Commercial, Free and Open source software is installed on
    • Maia: /zhome/Apps
    • Sol: /share/Apps
  • Software is managed using module environment
    • Why? We may have different versions of same software or software built with different compilers
    • Module environment allows you to dynamically change your *nix environment based on software being used
    • Standard on many University and national High Performance Computing resource since circa 2011

Software on Sol

Module Command

module avail show list of software available on resource
module load abc add software abc to your environment (modify your PATH, LD_LIBRARY_PATH etc as needed)
module unload abc remove abc from your envionment
module swap abc1 abc2 swap abc1 with abc2 in your environment
module purge remove all modules from your environment
module show abc display what variables are added or modified in your environment
module help abc display help message for the module abc

Installed Software

  • Chemistry/Materials Science
    • CPMD
    • GAMESS
    • Gaussian
    • NWCHEM
    • Quantum Espresso
    • VASP
  • Molecular Dynamics
    • Desmond
    • LAMMPS
    • NAMD
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Abaqus
    • Ansys
    • Comsol
    • OpenFOAM
    • OpenSees
  • Math
    • GNU Octave
    • Magma
    • Maple
    • Mathematica
    • Matlab

More Software

  • Scripting Languages
    • R
    • Perl
    • Python
  • Compilers
    • GNU
    • Intel
    • PGI
    • CUDA
  • Parallel Programming
    • MVAPICH2
    • OpenMPI
  • Libraries
    • Boost
    • FFTW
    • Intel MKL
    • HDF5
    • NetCDF
    • PetSc
    • QHull/QRupdate
    • SuiteSparse
    • SuperLU

More Software

  • Visualization Tools
    • Avogadro
    • GaussView
    • GNUPlot
    • PWGui
    • PyMol
    • VMD
    • XCrySDen
  • Other Tools
    • CMake
    • Lmod
    • Scons
  • You can always install a software in your home directory
  • Stay compliant with software licensing
  • Modify your .bashrc/.tcshrc to add software to your path, OR
  • create a module and dynamically load it so that it doesn't interfere with other software installed on the system
    • e.g. You might want to use openmpi instead of mvapich2
    • the system admin may not want install it system wide for just one user
  • Add the directory where you will install the module files to the variable MODULEPATH in .bashrc/.tcshrc
# My .bashrc file
export MODULEPATH=${MODULEPATH}:/home/alp514/modulefiles

Module File Example

How to run jobs

  • All compute intensive jobs are batch scheduled
  • Write a script to submit jobs to a scheduler
    • need to have some background in shell scripting (bash/tcsh)
  • Need to specify
    • Resources required (which depends on configuration)
      • number of nodes
      • number of processes per node
      • memory per node
    • How long do you want the resources
      • have an estimate for how long your job will run
    • Which queue to submit jobs

Batch Queuing System

  • A software that manages resources (CPU time, memory, etc) and schedules job execution

    • Sol: Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management (SLURM)
    • Others: Portable Batch System (PBS)
      • Scheduler: Maui
      • Resource Manager: Torque
      • Allocation Manager: Gold
  • More details in HPC Training scheduled for Sep. 21


  • The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) is the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services in the world.

  • It is a single virtual system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise.

  • Scientists and engineers around the world use these resources and services—things like supercomputers, collections of data, and new tools—to make our lives healthier, safer, and better.

  • XSEDE, and the experts who lead the program, will make these resources easier to use and help more people use them.

  • The five-year, $121-million project is supported by the National Science Foundation.

  • It replaces and expands on the NSF TeraGrid project.

XSEDE Resources

  • XSEDE is composed of multiple partner institutions known as Service Providers or SPs, each of which contributes one or more allocatable services.

  • Resources include High Performance Computing (HPC) machines, High Throughput Computing (HTC) machines, visualization, data storage, testbeds, and services.

  • Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)

    • Stampede: 9.6 PFlops
    • Wrangler for Data Analytics
    • Maverick for Interactive Visualization and Data Analytics
  • Louisiana State University

    • SuperMIC: 925 TFlops
  • National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS)

    • Beacon: 210 TFlops

XSEDE Resources

  • San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC)

    • Comet: 2 PFlops
  • Indiana University

    • Jetstream: a cloud-based, on-demand system for 24/7 access
  • Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

    • Bridges: 1.3 PFlops (deployment in progress)
  • Stanford University

    • XStream: 1PFlops of 8 x NVIDIA Tesla K80 compute nodes
  • Open Science Grid

How do I get started on XSEDE?

  • Apply for an account at the XSEDE Portal.
  • There is no charge to get an XSEDE portal account.
  • You need a portal account to register for XSEDE Tutorials and Workshops
  • To use XSEDE's compute and data resources, you need to have an allocation.
  • An allocation on a particular resource activates your account on that allocation.
  • Researchers and Educators from US universities and federal research labs can serve as Principle Investigators on XSEDE allocation.
  • A PI can add students to his/her allocations.
  • XSEDE also has a Campus Champion Program
  • A XSEDE Campus Champion is a local source of knowledge about high-performance and high-throughput computing and other digital services, opportunities and resources.
  • A Campus Champion can request start up allocations on all XSEDE resources to help local users with getting started on XSEDE resources.

Getting Help

Upcoming Training

  • EWFM 292 on Thursday from 2:10PM - 4:00PM.

    • Linux: Basic Commands & Environment (Sep 14)
    • Using SLURM scheduler on Sol (Sep 21)
    • Shell Scripting (Sep 28)
    • Using Virtialized Software at Lehigh (Oct 5)
    • Python Programming (Oct 12)
    • RefWorks (Oct 26)
    • Document Creation with LaTeX (Nov 2)
  • Subscribe