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CHPC creates a data portal for Rheumatic Heart Disease on Dirisa

The CHPC is working with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) researchers to store cardiac screenings conducted on children onto a data portal developed as part of the Data Intensive Research Infrastructure of South Africa (Dirisa).
At the beginning of the 20th century, RHD was a huge public health burden worldwide. Until the 1960s, it remained a leading cause of death in children. Despite dramatic decreases in the developed world, this disease still reigns rampant in the developing world. Estimates report as much as 74 million people affected with 1.4 million deaths attributable to rheumatic fever or RHD each year, almost all of which are occurring in developing countries. These numbers demand a new approach to this entirely preventable disease.
In the period 2008 to 2011, 2 720 asymptomatic school children at Grades 1 to 12 (6 to 18 year olds) underwent an echocardiogram by a trained technologist on a customised mobile vehicle in Cape Town. A series of echocardiographic screening studies of school children in affected countries has led to the recommendation to embrace portable echocardiography as a method for screening. However, the relatively high costs hamper the adoption of this screening modality on a large scale in developing countries. A particular need has been the technology around uploading of screening echoes to be read and reviewed on a central platform by a qualified reader and facilitating data sharing within multicenter collaborations.

Through Dirisa, researchers like Dr Liesl Zühlke, paediatric cardiologist at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and an honorary senior lecturer at University of Cape Town, have been working with CHPC researcher, Sebastian Wyngaard to upload echocardiograms to a customised open access platform that can be manipulated in order to view remotely, using minimal bandwidth and allowing for remote assessment. It is envisaged that this platform will be further developed for other medical-related projects, one of which involves eight African sites, thus demonstrating how high performance computing can serve local and international communities in need.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:04

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South African Student Cluster Challenge Representatives visit Dell Headquarters in Texas


The CHPC’s Student Cluster Challenge team set for Austin, Texas in the United States in January. The trip was for a site visit, training and mentoring at the Dell headquarters (HQ), courtesy of the technology company, Dell.

The team of eight, aged 20 and 21, won the South African Student Cluster Challenge in December last year which took place on the exhibition floor of the CHPC 2012 National Meeting in Durban. The team will represent the country in Leipzig, Germany and will compete against the world’s best students from eight countries.

At Dell HQ, students met with teams covering: high performance computing, databases, custom solutions, benchmarking and storage.Dell also organised a visit to the Texas Advanced Computing Centre’s supercomputer which is capable of approximately 10 Peta-flops and consists of 6 400 compute nodes with Xeon Phi accelerators. At the end of the week, the students presented their design for the High Performance Computing Advisory Council’s Student Cluster Challenge to their hosts. The Dell team concluded that the students created a good design for their cluster and that fine tuning should be done via hands-on testing.
Team South Africa departs for Leipzig in June this year. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 12:07

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CHPC Initiatives in Data and HPC in South Africa

The centre has recently launched the Data Intensive Research Infrastructure of South Africa (Dirisa).

The infrastructure has a storage facility of two petabytes and is accessible through the South African National Research Network. It operates at a full capacity of 10 Gps/s and provides the latest technology which is based on open source software to enable CHPC users to define their own rules in data acquisition, sharing and curation. The establishment phase was funded by the Department of Science and Technology, following a positive report on the 2007 feasibility study.

The centre has completed the full migration of data portals in Climate Modelling, Astronomy and Earth Observation and is currently migrating data portals in Humanities, medical applications on Rheumatic Heart Disease data and Bioinformatics data on genomic sequencing, amongst others.

Work is underway to drive the identification and curation of other critical research data in order to make it accessible to a wider community. There are also plans to expand the current storage capacity of 2 petabytes to enable sufficient access by the CHPC's other strategic partners.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2012 18:42

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CHPC Scheduled Maintenance Dates for 2018

General availability
Every reasonable effort will be made to keep our HPC resources available and operational 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. Please note however that although the support personnel will do their best to keep the facility running at all times, We cannot guarantee to promptly resolve problems outside RSA office hours, and during weekends and public holidays. Nevertheless, Please notify This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of any issues whenever they arise.

Planned maintenance
Occasionally it is necessary as part of maintaining a reliable service to update system software and replace faulty hardware. Sometimes it will be possible to perform these tasks transparently by means of queue reconfiguration in a way that will not disrupt running jobs or interactive use, or significantly inconvenience users. Some tasks however, particularly those affecting storage or login nodes, may require temporary interruption of service.

Where possible, maintenance activities involving a level of disruption to service will be scheduled on every last Friday of each month if required starting from 08:00 - 16:30 ( local RSA time). Please see the below provisional date for planned maintenance.
  1. 26 January 2018
  2. 23 February 2018
  3. 29 March 2018
  4. 26 April 2018
  5. 25 May 2018
  6. 29 June 2018
  7. 27 July 2018
  8. 31 August 2018
  9. 28 September 2018
  10. 26 October 2018
  11. 30 November 2018
  12. 14 December 2018
Please note that this does not mean that there will be disruption every month, merely that if potentially disruptive maintenance is necessary we will do our best to ensure it takes place during this period, in that case there will be advance notification.

Establishing a provisional time slot for planned maintenance has the advantage that users may be confident that `dangerous' changes will not intentionally be undertaken at other times.

Exceptional maintenance and unplanned disruptions
It may happen that despite best efforts, it becomes necessary to reduce or withdraw service at short notice and/or outside the planned maintenance time slot. This may happen e.g. for environmental reasons, such as air conditioning or power failure, or in an emergency where immediate shutdown is required to save equipment or data.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 January 2018 10:33

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CHPC in the News

CHPC SAGrid Cluster Available

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Dirisa Storage Unit Available

Lengau Cluster Available

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