Minutes of the First hpc-ch Forum

The first Forum of the hpc-ch community has been a great success with 10 presentations and more than 30 participants. We have been welcomed by the University of Zurich, Christian Bolliger, Alexander Godknecht and the designated vice president for research, Prof. Daniel Wyler.

During the lunch break we had a group picture in front of a dromedary (the animal has no additional relation to our meeting :-).

hpc-ch Group Foto

See additional pictures on flickr »

During the meeting we had a special session about the hpc-ch community. The most important outcomes are listed here below.


The community is open to Swiss research organizations running HPC systems. We address the middle management and system administrators / infrastructure staff. There are no membership fees but the members agree to

  • Have listed the organization names and representatives name on www.hpc-ch.org
  • Host (if possible) a Forum on a regular basis (given 2 Forums a years and 12 members it is expected to host a forum every 5-6 years)
  • Actively participate  with  the community by participating  in Forums and give presentations

Services to the Community

Following services are provided to the community :

  • Web Pages www.hpc-ch.org (hosted by USZ)
  • About
  • Blog (contribution open to everyone) with news about HPC in Switzerland and discussion of topics of interest
  • List of member organizations and representatives
  • Organization of two Forums a year (additional meetings if needed)
  • Distribution list community@hpc-ch.org
  • “Get together” at international conferences (ISC, SC)
  • Coordination of activities by a secretary (Michele De Lorenzi)


We had a longer discussion about the number of Forums in a year and what the best dates are. The common opinion was that two meetings a year would be a good starting point. We decided to have “independent” dates not related to a conference. This would allow us to have site visits at the hosting organizations.

The Forums will be 1 day long (typically from 10:00 to 17:00) and be Topic specific. A typical agenda for a Forum will be:

  • Keynote presentation by hosting organization
  • Site visit of HPC infrastructure
  • Short presentations by members (not more than 6 to have time for discussion)

Forums 2010

In 2010 hpc-ch will organize the following two Forums (update right now your calendar):

  • Thursday, Mai 20, 2010 on Operating Systems for HPC  and installation methods, hosted by EPF Lausanne. On the evening of Mai 19 there will be a hpc-ch networking dinner in Lausanne.
  • Thursday, October 28, 2010 on parallel file systems, hosted by ETH Zurich

Additional possible topics for the next years (in decreasing order of interest):

  • New processor technologies
  • Queuing systems, Schedulers (software, policies)
  • Software stacks (libraries)
  • Network technologies for HPC (data center and interconnect)
  • Infrastructure (power supply, cooling, floor space)
  • Management of HPC centers (ITIL, help desk, on call service etc.)

Internal Organization of hpc-ch

The board of hpc-ch will be composed by a representative of each member organization. Every organization can also appoint one or more deputies.

The board members are in charge to select the topics of the Forum and they recruit participants to Forums in their own organization (the invitations to Forums are posted on the blog and send to the representatives and their deputies by e-mails).

Action Points

  • The members are welcome to put a link to www.hpc-ch.org on their web pages.
  • Some important organizations providing HPC services in Switzerland (e.g. EMPA or University of Lausanne) are still missing as members. Please send the names of possible contact persons to mdl.
  • Send change requests of the list with the organization representatives and deputies to mdl.
  • Do you want to become an editor of the hpc-ch blog? Please send the request for an account to mdl (it would be great if you would just post an article with a summary of your presentation at the last Forum)

Additional Remarks

Please post additional remarks to these minutes as comments.