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SNIC User Forum 2016

Gert Svensson, PDC

The Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) User Forum was held on the 24th and 25th of October 2016 in Lund and hosted by Lunarc – the Center for Scientific and Technical Computing at Lund University – which is the SNIC centre in Lund. The purpose of these user forums is to disseminate information about SNIC to the researchers using the SNIC systems, to give those researchers a chance to meet the staff of the SNIC centres, and for SNIC to listen to the opinion of the researchers using the SNIC computing resources. This was more important than usual this year as the Swedish Research Council (VR) is planning to change the funding model for Swedish research infrastructures, including SNIC. This was reflected in the large number of attendees at this year’s meeting: over a hundred people attended the meeting including researchers from difference disciplines.

Two keynote speakers gave an international perspective on high performance computing (HPC) and eScience. The first keynote speaker was Michael Uddstrom who described the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure  (NeSI). In the second keynote talk, Allison Kennedy, Director of the Hartree Centre  in the UK, gave an overview of the British national infrastructure for HPC and big data. Another important point on the agenda was the presentation of this year’s SNIC User Survey . (Interestingly the largest number of responses from researchers came from the bioinformatics area.) Other highlights were a presentation  by Dejan Vitlacil from PDC who (together with Jens Larsson from NSC, the National Supercomputer Centre at Linköping University) talked about the future of the SNIC storage services, and an inspiring talk about providing better user guides  for the software at the different SNIC centres given by Cristian Cira from PDC.

The SNIC User Forum ended with a discussion in smaller groups between researchers, SNIC centre staff and SNIC decision makers. Each of the groups summarised their conclusions which are being used to provide input for an improved SNIC.