The IT Center of RWTH Aachen University operates the University’s HPC systems and offers several types of support services for the RWTH Compute Cluster. It provides user advising services as well as technical and methodological support and is responsible for the continuous development of the cluster. Furthermore, the ICT Center is responsible for the procurement of systems to meet local, regional and subject-specific national computing power requirements. Support requests can always be made via our Service Desk, which serves as a single point of contact for users.
All HPC services provided by the IT Center are designed to ensure the efficient use of all HPC systems of RWTH (Tier-2, Tier-3, integrative hosted systems). The IT Center provides assistance with questions regarding its HPC offerings (account creation, login, use of the cluster/batch system, installation of software, etc.), including, in particular, support for performance analysis and optimization. Furthermore, the IT Center also offers a comprehensive program of courses and workshops (e.g. PPCES, aiXcelerate). The course program is supplemented by extensive documentation, guidelines, and information on the resources management of the cluster.
Thanks to the close collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich, including within the Center for Simulation and Data Science of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA-CSD), a part of the cluster forms the JARA partition. This provides researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University with the necessary resources in the individually required architectural diversity.
At JARA-CSD, the interdisciplinary Cross-Sectional Group Parallel Efficiency supports scientists from a wide range of disciplines in the effective use of the various high-performance computers. In addition to undertaking performance and correctness analysis of parallel programs, we also develop our own tools in this area of application:
Further technical and methodological support is offered through the externally funded projects POP and ProPE:
The EU project Performance Optimisation and Productivity (POP), funded within by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, offers various optimization services for academic and industrial HPC codes of all scientific disciplines. Out free-of-charge services include performance audits, in which the quality of code is assessed in detail with the help of predefined metrics, and "proof of concepts", in which the effectiveness of the proposed improvement measures is demonstrated using advanced experiments, kernel extractions, parallelizations, or mini-apps.
The DFG-funded project ProPE deals with the "Process-oriented service structure for performance engineering of scientific software at German HPC centers.” The project has a particular focus on systematic performance analysis and optimization. Furthermore, the national performance engineering support infrastructure is being evaluated. As a result, customers of the IT Center's can benefit from the local expertise of other German IT centers. The cross-center HPC Wiki provides a joint knowledge base.