N8 Regional  HPC Facilities (POLARIS )

 N8 Research Partnership is an established partnership of the most research-intensive universities in the North of England, including Sheffield University.

N8 HPC currently offers a shared ‘Tier 2’ HPC facility underpinning world-class research, enabling collaborations between institutions and creating the opportunity to engage more effectively with business and the community.

Currently Sheffield University owns 1/8th share of the HPC facilities to support HPC intensive research activities that may be difficult to provide on our local HPC cluster 'iceberg'.

Terminal Access and file transfers to polaris

Having obtained a polaris username, you can have terminal access to polaris using the same terminal access methods that are needed for accessing iceberg.  
Network access address of (N8) polaris is: polaris.leeds.ac.uk  
For example;
       to access from a Linux workstation you can type:   ssh -X your_N8_username@polaris.leeds.ac.uk 
       from a MAC workstation with XQuartz installed type:   ssh -Y  your_N8_username@polaris.leeds.ac.uk 

On windows platforms you have a number of choices such as MobaXterm, Exceed, Putty,  Xming/ssh Xming/Putty combinations.
Please see terminal access to iceberg pages and remember to replace iceberg.shef.ac.uk with polaris.leeds.ac.uk for N8 access. 

Similarly file transfers to/from polaris can be achieved by using the same tools we recommend for transferring files to/from iceberg while again replacing iceberg_username@iceberg.shef.ac.uk with N8_username@polaris.leeds.ac.uk  

Most of our N8 users would need to transfer files between iceberg and polaris.
You can initiate such file transfer either on polaris or on iceberg by using the sftp command. 
For example while logged onto polaris you can type :    sftp  your_iceberg_username@iceberg.shef.ac.uk   
    or while logged onto iceberg you can type:               sftp  your_N8_username@polaris.leeds.ac.uk  

The sftp command  get and put can then be used to fetch/send files between iceberg and polaris.
If you have multiple files that match a certain pattern, for example all matlab scripts (i.e. .m files) you can use the mget and mput commands to transfer them all by just one command.  
For example :   mput  *.m 

Accessing Software on Polaris   (module avail  & module find ) 

Having logged onto polaris, typing the command module avail will give a list of generally available software items plus the software items provided by your institution (i.e. Sheffield Univ. ) that can be accessed via the module load command. These are the software supported by the N8 core applications team and your Sheffield University N8 support team.  
On the other hand,  module find command lists all software available on polaris including the ones provided by other institutions hence it contains a much wider collection of software where support is provided by other institutions who share the N8 facilities. 

The following link provides a list of commonly used applications, compilers and libraries available to all polaris users:



The section on /apps/sheffield/Modules contain a few modules installed by Sheffield users. 
The command   ls  /apps/sheffield/Modules   will list the modules installed by Shefifeld University users. 

In particular shefuser module is extremely useful for creating an 'iceberg' like environment as well as making abaqus, ansys and fluent available. 
I.e. type:  module load shefuser when you start a new session on polaris. 

So, users who wish to take advantage of their familiarity with iceberg is recommended to issue the command;
      module load shefuser   as soon as they start an interactive session or in their batch script.