Farewell to ARCHER
By Lorna Smith (EPCC) on January 27, 2021
At 8am this morning the ARCHER service was switched off. Funded by EPSRC and NERC, this sees the end of a remarkable service, a service that has acted as the UK’s National HPC Service for the last 7 years.
Entering service at the end of 2013, just over 5.6 million jobs have been submitted and just over 5.7 billion core hours used. That’s a lot of resource for UK Science.
There has been around 3300 users, with PhD (or other post-graduate research degree participants) forming the largest cohort of users. This is closely followed by Post-Doctoral researchers.
While ARCHER entered service at No. 20 in the TOP500 list, the goal has always been to deliver world-class science by supporting an active and diverse community of users from across a broad spectrum of science areas. The range of science carried out on the service has been significant, with a vast set of application codes being utilised. Too numerous to mention all, however the 5 most heavily used codes (VASP, GROMACS, the Unified Model, CASTEP and CP2K) have all utilised over 100 million core hours each.
This science has been showcased through a series of case studies, highlighting work around many of societies grand challenges. Most recently, ARCHER has been used in the fight against COVID, for example through pandemic modelling. You can explore the case studies at:
Having been involved in the support of ARCHER since the start, I have been particularly proud of the efforts invested in providing an accessible and inclusive service. Accessible training materials; Women in High Performance Computing; early-career observers at eCSE panel meetings; driving tests; outreach activities aimed at under-represented groups. More can certainly be done and we look forward to continuing these efforts under ARCHER2.
So for today, the end of the ARCHER service is upon us and we look back at a very successful 7 years. However we also look forward to ARCHER2 which I am confident will see the UK HPC community continue to deliver world-class science.