Three Years of Service

On June 28th 2016, after a lot of hard work by a lot of people to bring High Performance Computing to the University of Hull, Viper ran its first production job.

A Tweet celebrating Viper's first job

Now three years later, Viper has made a massive contribution to research here at the university. Over 1.5 million jobs have been run, consuming around 70 million CPU hours (that is work that would take around 8,000 years on a single processor). Viper is certainly kept busy, with resource utilisation often over 90% full and the scheduler busy ensuring fair access for our users.

Viper has transformed research, helping people scale simulations and models beyond what they had been able to previously contemplate, enabling new avenues of research and new approaches to research, and helped reduce time to publication.

A big thanks to you all at the viper team, work that was taking me a month to complete now takes a matter of hours!

A P.S. on a recent email!

Over 200 research staff and students have run jobs on Viper as part of their work and while the more traditional High Performance Computing research areas (Astrophysics, Computational Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Bioinformatics, Environmental Sciences etc) are among the more common jobs seen running on Viper, over the last three years Viper has contributed to research across the University with increasing use from the Faculties of Arts, Cultures and Education,  Health Sciences and Business, Law and Politics. It is fantastic to see the diversity of people making use of Viper and the sort of research being carried out.

In October 2016 we saw the first publication to come from work carried out on Viper, and there are now 40 publications (that we know of) on our publications list at

A Tweet celebrating Viper's first publication

As well as publications we have seen work carried out on Viper presented at numerous conferences and contributed to many PhD and Masters theses and undergraduate student projects. Viper has been represented at Science Festivals and other outreach events with the HPC administration team and users helping the public to understand what HPC is and what the impact has been on research at the university and beyond.

We would like to thank everyone for their hard work in these three years: all those involved in getting Viper to the University of Hull in the first place; everyone who has been involved in the HPC Steering Group; our colleagues past and present involved in supporting Viper, and not least all of our users!

In terms of the future Viper still has a lot to offer the research community here at the University of Hull. The HPC administration team are working hard behind the scenes on an update to the Viper software stack that should bring some exciting new functionality and performance improvements to Viper.

There is lots more research to be done and lots more jobs to run!

Matlab on Viper

Matlab is a widely used tool in research, thanks in part to the ability to quickly develop code to test solutions without (necessarily) needing to be a expert coder, and a wealth of toolboxes and functions from image and signal processing, to bioinformatics, econometrics and robotics. However, Matlab can be quite resource hungry and if you find your PC struggling or yourself waiting for Matlab to finish processing before doing other things on your computer, or even if you just want to get your Matlab tasks running more quickly and efficiently, then you might want to think about using Matlab on Viper. Why? Continue reading “Matlab on Viper”

A Year of Service

I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Amsterdam catching up on work emails and putting the finishing touches to our latest newsletter which will be out shortly. The newsletter celebrates a year of research on Viper, having gone live on the 28th June 2016. It has been a fantastic journey over the last year, meeting new users, hearing of the impact Viper can have on someones research and seeing research outputs published.

Continue reading “A Year of Service”

HPC Internships

Working in High Performance Computing is one of the most interesting and rewarding roles in IT. Not only does it give you the opportunity to play with some of the latest (and biggest) technology there is, but you also get chance to work closely with researchers at the forefront of their field. HPC is a very specialist area to work in, yet requiring a wide range of skills. However it is a role where you do feel you can make a real contribution to the way researchers work. Continue reading “HPC Internships”

Welcome to Viper

Viper is the University of Hull’s first central High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster. The culmination of a journey that started in 2012, Viper came online to users as a pilot service in June 2016. Within the university sector it is one of the leading High Performance Computing centres and the highest rated in the north of the UK.

Built on state of the art technology, Viper is already proving to be a key facility to many researchers, enabling new and novel approaches that wouldn’t have been possible before. Researchers across the university used more than 1.25 million core hours across nearly 100,000 jobs in the first month of operation. Continue reading “Welcome to Viper”

Viper Launch