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Alces Flight’s highlights from CIUK 2023!

Alces Flight is back after making significant strides during this year’s CIUK 2023 conference. Our activities ranged from supporting students in the largest to date CIUK Student Cluster Challenge to unveiling Concertim, designed to revolutionise private and public cloud environments. In addition, Alces Flight actively participated in initiatives to promote community via the Lustre User Group (LUG), and fostering diversity and inclusion in the field by organising the Women in HPC (WHPC) second annual networking breakfast.

Joining in the Lustre discussion

2023 marked our first year as Silver Sponsors of the Lustre User Group (LUG) as well as Lustre’s official 20th anniversary!  The user group event, held on the newly-launched CIUK Day Zero, saw a host of talks ranging from active projects and optimisation (including a roadmap and futures talk by Peter Jones), to the top six teams from CIUK’s Student Cluster Competition giving their perspective on working with the project.  We would like to extend a big thank you to the community for bringing us onboard and we can’t wait to contribute further to the storage discussion.

CIUK Student Cluster Challenge: Empowering the next generation

Alces Flight challenged the next generation of our community through something a bit different this year – with an interactive Escape Room!  With a final tally of over 70 students and 13 teams participating, this marked the largest CIUK Student Cluster Challenge to date. This year we played with the clouds – hosting our online portion of the challenge on the Alces Flight Research Cloud and our in-person challenge on AWS.  Using physical and virtual clues students raced (sometimes literally) to untangle a broken workload, stop a nefarious hacker, and help our protagonist, Monty the Moose, get his job run in time.  All of this was possible thanks to our incredible development team, as well as our platform-agnostic open-source project, OpenFlightHPC!  Oh, and one further product helped along the way…

Concertim: Revolutionising Research Computing Environments

We are excited to showcase at CIUK our latest product Concertim, designed to transform the landscape of private and public cloud environments. Concertim is crafted to meet users’ unique needs and requirements while incorporating tools that actively contribute to reducing costs and carbon footprint in the HPC industry. Accessible through a web portal, Concertim allows users to configure compute resources, monitor costs, power consumption, and carbon footprint seamlessly within a family HPC cluster layout. 

Women in HPC (WHPC) Networking Breakfast: Advocating Diversity and Inclusion

Alces Flight has once again taken an active role in promoting diversity and inclusion within the HPC community by organising the Women in HPC (WHPC) networking breakfast during the CIUK conference. The breakfast this year featured a distinguished talk from Teresa Schofield who discussed her long (and storied) career in Electronics Engineering and Semiconductor research.  Following Teresa, a rotating panel called a Lyceum sprang up around topics such as mentoring, being an ally, hiring, and the big and little ways everyone can make HPC a more welcome and open place to work.  Additionally, the campaign ‘Move the Needle’ launched during the workshop aimed at fostering positive change and inclusivity in our industry.

Alces Flight continues to raise funds for good causes!

Our 2023/2024 campaign ‘Our Money, Your Choice’ allows us to spend a portion of our conference budget on positive change around the world. We have raised over £680 towards global charities such as: CureSearch, World Neighbours, Shelter and Blue Marine Foundation. 

We look forward to continuing this tradition into next year!

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