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Welcome the Smithsonian Institution High Performance Computing Wiki.

This Wiki holds information for the use of HPC resources at the Smithsonian.

Central to the SI HPC resources is the Smithsonian Institution High Performance Cluster (SI/HPC), named Hydra.

  • High performance computing is administered by the Office of Research Information Services (ORIS).
  • The OCIO data center in Herndon, VA houses the high performance computing cluster, Hydra.

What's New

  • May 15, 2018
    • We are very pleased to announce that the systems administrator duties for Hydra are being transferred to Dr. Jamal Uddin, who just joined the Research Computing team at the Herndon Data Center (HDC) of the Smithsonian. From now on he will be responsible for administering and maintaining the HPC resources at HDC (i.e. Hydra, full time). He will also participate in enhancing Smithsonian’s high performance computing infrastructure and services.

      Prior to joining Smithsonian, Jamal served as a Sr. High Performance Computing Administrator at Dana Inc. He was a HPC Specialist at Fiat-Chrysler automobiles and worked as a Solution Architect at Owens-Illinois. Jamal received his Ph. D. degree in Computational Chemistry from University of Marburg, Germany and held postdoctoral researcher roles with multiple academic institutions. He has published 29 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and serves as a reviewer for several journals including Physical Review Letter, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Journal of Chemical Physics, and Applied Physics Letter.

      We ask that you to submit HPC sys-admin related issues (forgotten password, something is not working any more, etc) to (and no longer directly DJ or Sylvain). Bioinformatic/Genomics specific questions/requests (request to install or how to run specific s/w) should be send to (which includes Rebecca, Matt and Vanessa), SAO users who need help for their applications should contact Sylvain at This will help anyone from the SI/HPC support team to address your issues as soon as possible. Please let us know if you have any questions.

  • Reminders
    • The NVIDIA OpenGL libraries have been loaded on the login nodes.
    • The default Intel and PGI compilers have been changed to use the most recent ones.
    • New versions of compilers and IDL are available on Hydra.
    • An interactive queue has been added to Hydra, interactive use of the login nodes is being monitored.

    • All public disks (/pool and /scratch only) are scrubbed. Reasonable requests to restore scrubbed files must be sent no later than than Friday following the scrubbing, by 5pm.

    • Two test queues are available:

      • uTSSD.tq - allows use of a local SSD for jobs performing heavy I/Os,

      • uTGPU.tq - allows use of a GPU for code built with GPU capability.

  • Past news with more details can be found at the What's New page.

Cluster monitoring page

QSub Generator (only accessible within the SI network)



  • References to Hydra (publications, proposals, etc) should mention the cluster as:
the Smithsonian Institution High Performance Cluster (SI/HPC).

Last updated  / PBF/SGK/MPK.

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