Final hours announced for the June 2023 SRCF downtime

As previously announced, the Stanford Research Computing Facility (SRCF), where Sherlock is hosted, will be powered off during the last week of June, in order to safely bring up power to the new SRCF2 datacenter.

Sherlock will not be available for login, to submit jobs or to access files from Saturday June 24th, 2023 at 00:00 PST to Monday July 3rd, 2023 at 18:00 PST.

Jobs will stop running and access to login nodes will be closed at 00:00 PST on Saturday, June 24th, to allow sufficient time for shutdown and pre-downtime maintenance tasks on the cluster, before the power actually goes out. If everything goes according to plan, and barring issues or delays with power availability, access will be restored on Monday, July 3rd at 18:00 PST.

We will use this opportunity to perform necessary maintenance operations on Sherlock that can’t be done while jobs are running, which will avoid having to schedule a whole separate downtime. Sherlock will go offline in advance of the actual electrical shutdown to ensure that all equipment is properly powered off and minimize the risks of disruption and failures when power is restored.

A reservation will be set in the scheduler for the duration of the downtime: if you submit a job on Sherlock and the time you request exceeds the time remaining until the start of the downtime, your job will be queued until the maintenance is over, and the squeue command will report a status of ReqNodeNotAvailable (“Required Node Not Available”).

The hours leading up to a downtime are an excellent time to submit shorter, smaller jobs that can complete before the maintenance begins: as the queues drain there will be many nodes available, and your wait time may be shorter than usual.

As previously mentioned, in anticipation of this week-long downtime, we encourage all users to plan their work accordingly, and ensure that they have contingency plans in place for their computing and data accessibility needs during that time. If you have important data that you need to be able to access while Sherlock is down, we strongly recommend that you start transferring your data to off-site storage systems ahead of time, to avoid last-minute complications. Similarly, if you have deadlines around the time of the shutdown that require computation results, make sure to anticipate those and submit your jobs to the scheduler as early as possible.

We understand that this shutdown will have a significant impact for users who rely on Sherlock for their computing and data processing needs, and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work to improve our Research Computing infrastructure.

For help transferring data, any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected].