SRCF is expanding

The Stanford Research Computing Facility (SRCF), where Sherlock is hosted, has been a highly effective data center since its opening in January of 2014, and demand has grown so much that we’re expanding it! Another identical building (SRCF2) is under construction at SLAC, which will increase our data center capacity when it opens this summer.

In order to bring power to the new building, the entire existing SRCF data center will need to be shut down. The 12kV electrical infrastructure is so pervasive that for the new building to be connected safely, everything needs to be powered off, including the backup generators. It unfortunately means that all servers and equipment will need to be shut down for this event, including Sherlock.

The full building power shutdown is planned for late June 2023, it’s expected to last for about a week, and Sherlock will be unavailable during that time.

During the power outage, Sherlock will be entirely powered down, meaning that it will not allow login or data transfer, the Sherlock OnDemand interface will be down, jobs will not run, and data will not be accessible (including $HOME, $SCRATCH and $OAK). We expect all services to resume normally once power is back up, and jobs that were in queue before the downtime should resume being scheduled normally.

The power outage is currently scheduled for the last week of June 2023. Specific dates and times have not been finalized yet, but we will share more detailed information as the shutdown date gets closer.

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