Hands-on Porting and Optimisation Workshop: Making the most of ARCHER

ARCHER, the UK's national supercomputing service, offers training in software development and high-performance computing to scientists and researchers across the UK. As part of our training service we are running a 1-day hands-on workshop on Porting and Optimisation at the University of Birmingham on Tuesday April 4th (9:30 - 16:30).


Instead of a typical ARCHER course consisting of alternating lectures + practicals, this workshop is designed to provide an opportunity for attendees to gain individually tailored hands-on help and advice from the ARCHER team / HPC specialists and to ask questions pertaining directly to your use of ARCHER.

Each attendee will be assigned a technical advisor. This advisor will work closely with you throughout the day to help run your application and any associated essential software on ARCHER and to advise on how the system can be used most efficiently, to help evaluate the application's performance (providing guidance on the use of available tools if appropriate), and to suggest possible changes that could be made to the code to improve its performance.

The workshop is aimed at:

  • Potential future users of the service looking to understand whether ARCHER is suitable for their computing needs and could potentially accelerate their research.
  • New users of the ARCHER service looking to port existing software - be it their own code or a third-party application - to run on the machine for the first time or to explore its performance prior to an application for ARCHER time.
  • Current users of the ARCHER service looking to improve the performance of their code, e.g. parallel scaling and/or IO, in order to make more efficient use of the machine.
  • Users who want to learn more about data management or using the RDF (Research Data Facility) and how this can help their work on ARCHER.

The workshop is not restricted to current users; it is open to anyone interested in using ARCHER. We encourage applications from small teams of collaborators whose current or future use of ARCHER is based on one particular application. As the workshop is tailored to individual participants we can cater to the needs of attendees from a wide range of previous experiences with high-performance computing.

This course is free to all.

The registration form allows EU residents to apply for a travel bursary of up to £100 - please register by Friday March 10th to be considered.

Attendees will be given access to ARCHER for the duration of the workshop.
Please note you will be required to bring your own laptop in order to connect to ARCHER as no desktop computers will be provided.

If you are not familiar with ARCHER we encourage you to look at the online training material available here in advance of the workshop to ensure you gain the maximum benefit from the day. This material also prepares you for the online ARCHER driving test, which allows you to access the system with your own account and a time allocation independently of the workshop.


Scheduled start and end times and breaks are given in the timetable below. The activities pursued during the workshop and their timings will vary depending on what you are looking to achieve and in consultation with your ARCHER advisor. The timetable shows the range of possible activities that could be undertaken as well as an example of how these might progress during the day.

  • 09:30 Welcome
  • 09:50 Introduction
  • 10:00 Meet your helper
  • 10:15 Porting, initial performance measurements
  • 11:00 Coffee break
  • 11:20 Exploration of runtime optimisations and efficient use of the machine
  • 12:30 Lunch break
  • 13:30 Detailed performance measurements, profiling
  • 15:00 Coffee break
  • 15:30 Profiling analysis and consultation on potential code optimisations
  • 16:30 End


The workshop will be held in Room G51 of the European Research Institute at the University of Birmingham's Edgbaston campus.

For more location information including maps and advice on travel and acommodation please see our  University of Birmingham page.


Please use the registration link at the left.

Once you have registered, you will receive a follow up email with a request to provide the following information:

  • Name of your application / code of interest and any other essential software (if applicable)
  • What you want to achieve on the day
  • Whether you are part of a small team that has decided to attend the workshop together

Note: it is crucial that you respond to this email and provide the requested information to ensure the workshop meets your needs and in order to allow us to plan and allocate technical staff to advise you appropriately.

If you are part of a small team applying for the workshop all team members should register individually.


If you have any questions please contact the ARCHER Helpdesk.

Room G51
Room G51 European Research Institute University of Birmingham Edgbaston campus Edgbaston Birmingham B15 2TT <a href=http://www.archer.ac.uk/training/locations/ubirmingham.php>More info</a>
This course is part-funded by the PRACE project and is free to all. Please register using the online form. If you have any questions, please consult the course forum page or contact epcc-support@epcc.ed.ac.uk.