We will also bring a major change in the jobs scheduling rules: the maximum walltime will be reduced from 14 days to 5 days. From the Hydra usage statistics, less than 1% of the submitted jobs will be impacted by this change.
Users requiring to run jobs over more than five days will have two options available. The first and most useful one is that we deployed an advanced checkpointing system (stop a job and restart it where it was) which has been successfully tested on typical software running for extended period of times like Gaussian, R or Python. To safely checkpoint your jobs, you'll need to use the csub tool.
Detailed documentation on how to use csub is available on our new web site: https://hpc.vub.be/documentation/faq.html#how-can-i-run-a-job-longer-than-the-maximum-allowed-wall-time
In case checkpointing is impossible, it will be necessary to ask a reservation for a specific period via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Note that this will be allocated case by case and the HPC team will help to eventually find alternatives or better ways to run those long jobs.
As for all previous planned Hydra downtimes, we have placed a reservation on the cluster. Jobs that can complete before June 25th 08:00 will start and the others will remain queued.
Please note that jobs still in the queue during the maintenance and with a walltime of more than 5 days will get their requested walltime changed to 5 days.
We would also like to take the opportunity to announce the availability of 21 new nodes featuring each 2x Intel Xeon Gold 6148 2.4 GHz (20 cores) and 192 GB RAM for a total of 840 additional cores! The nodes are interconnected with a 10 Gbps network and are replacing 16 of the older AMD nodes.
Earlier announcements and interruptions
Thursday May 17th between 05h00 and 07h00 there can an internet interruptions
Thursday May 17th between 05h00 and 07h00 there will be a software upgrade of the BELNET routers. This means that the internet connection can be interrupted (typically 15 minutes) during this time frame.
Hydra and Vega Back Online
We have identified jobs on Hydra involved in the central storage NFS service crash. We will continue to work with the storage vendor to help them figure out why their NFS service crashed. Hydra and Vega clusters are again fully operational.
Hydra & Vega Still Unavailable
After further investigations of the NFS issue on the SISC central storage it came out that when specific private networks are made accessible to the central storage, the crash follows a few hours after. Hydra and Vega are accessing the NFS via private networks involved in the NFS crash phenomenon. To perverse other critical services relying but not impacting the central storage (like the email service), Hydra and Vega private networks have been cut out of the central storage. At this stage we still don't know if it is a rogue process or a network related issue. We continue to investigate in collaboration with SISC colleagues and the network teams.
SISC Central Storage Outage
Since Tuesday afternoon May 8th we have an issue with the central storage. Meaning that acces to ownCloud, NESTOR (z-drives in VUB computerrooms) and HYDRA storage are unavailable. A support call was logged with the supplier and we are further investigating the problem.
Planned E-mail outage on Tuesday 10 April
The SISC mailserver will be restarted on 10th of April at 17:15.
The outage will take less than 10 minutes.
Planned Internet Interruptions on Tuesday 6 March
There will be two interruptions of 15 minutes of the Internet Service on Tuesday 6 March between 5 AM an 7 AM due to a BELNET maintenance window.
Network Maintenance on February 6th
Due to an urgent network maintenance on Tuesday 6th of February between 05:00 and 09:00 the following VUB/ULB services are not available. Read more...
Details: About the systems' unavailability this morning 7 February
Details about the impact for the VUB are available on:
Details about the impact for the ULB will be available as an Info Flash on:
Hydra security reboot on Monday January 8th
As you may have heard, two very serious security problems have been made
public last week: https://meltdownattack.com/
As such, we have to reboot all nodes of Hydra to install the fixes. The
login nodes will be rebooted this evening at 20:00. The worker nodes
will be rebooted as soon as the running jobs on them have ended. This
should have minimal impact on your work but the capacity of Hydra will
be a bit lower until all nodes have rebooted.
The bad news is that the attacks use a hardware bug and the fixes to
work around them can have a negative impact on performance. For HPC
workloads, it could mean that your applications run up to 5% slower. If
you experience more performance loss after the reboots, please
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HYDRA Maintenance from 11th to 15th of December Completed
We have completed the maintenance works: Hydra is again accessible and queued jobs are now running.
1) The entire Hydra Ethernet network has been rebuilt from scratch with new switches and new cabling. All network communications have been therefore improved for a globally increased performance in data management & transfers.
2) Four new GPGPU nodes have been added, each with 2x Tesla P100.
3) The storage capacity has been increased to 800 TB.
4) The usual OS/software updates & upgrades have been made including the installation of security patches.
If you encounter any issue, please let us know by replying to this email or contacting us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HYDRA Maintenance from 11th to 15th of December
We are planning a maintenance window on Hydra from 11/12 to 15/12 with a scheduled downtime.
The maintenance will be used to perform several updates/upgrades on Hydra core services including a complete network upgrade (physical and logical levels), 4 new GPGPU nodes and an increase of the storage capacity to 750 TB.
The maintenance will not kill jobs on the cluster or remove queued jobs. As for previous planned Hydra downtimes, we have placed a reservation on the cluster two weeks before the maintenance date, aligned with the maximum walltime. Jobs that can complete before the 11/12 will (continue to) run and those submitted with a walltime bumping into the maintenance window will be kept pending until the maintenance is completed.
Registration of your alias email@example.com
Monday evening 30 October between 21:21 and 22:50 and Tuesday 31 October between 14:49 and 15:32 an automated system of the VUB/ULB has sent confirmations to about 13300 individual users that their "alias" has been registered. Users having received such a message can safely ignore this message and delete it. There is no other negative impact of these messages having been sent. Read more...
These are the headers of the message sent:
From: VUB/ULB Rekencentrum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Registration of your alias email@example.com
Our apologies for the confusion this may have caused.
Internet access hampered due DDOS, UDP port 389 to be suspended
The university's internet connection was hampered by a DDOS attack (Distributed Denial of Service) on Monday 25 September. The problems were contained later that day.
To reduce this DDOS's effects, UDP port 389 will be suspended to and from servers outside the university. Contact the ICT-Helpdesk if you require assistance on this matter.
UDP port 389 (LDAP) is solely used by Windows's LDAP servers so the impact should be limited. TCP port 389 is NOT impacted.
Interruption of wireless network on Thursday 19 October 08:00-09:00
All VUB wireless networks (VUBnext, Eduroam, VUBguest) will be unavailable on all campuses on Thursday, 19 October from 08:00 until 09:00 for a security update.
Research database Pure unavailable Wednesday 11/10 13:00-14:00
The Research database Pure will be unavailable on Wednesday 11 October between 13:00 and 14:00 for maintenance and an upgrade.
Interruption of smtp.vub.ac.be/smtp.ulb.ac.be Thursday 17:00-18:00
The servers smtp.vub.ac.be and smtp.ulb.ac.be will be unavailable for max. 15 minutes on Thursday 5 October between 17:00 and 18:00 for a security upgrade. During the downtime users will not be able to send email through these servers. Office 365 users are not impacted. Our apologies for the inconvenience this may cause.
Mail delivery problem of the main mailserver is solved
The problem with delayed email on Thursday is solved. All missing messages were delivered overnight. Sorry for the inconvenience.
VUB Wireless network interruptions on 18 and 19 September
To implement changes in the VUB Wireless network setup, the VUBguest wireless network will be unavailable on Monday 18 September for the whole day. On Tuesday, 19 September, all wireless networks (VUBnext, Eduroam and VUBguest) will be unavailable from 08:00 until 10:00 AM.
To implement changes in the VUB Wireless network setup, interruptions of the VUB wireless networks on Campus Etterbeek and Campus Jette are scheduled on the following dates:
18 September - whole day: the VUBguest wireless network will be unavailable for the whole day. The VUBnext and Eduroam wireless networks are not affected and will remain available throughout the day.
19 September - 08:00-10:00 AM: all VUB wireless networks (VUBnext, Eduroam, VUBguest) will be unavailable from 08:00 AM until -10:00 AM.
As said, these downtimes will affect wireless access on Campus Etterbeek as well as on Campus Jette.
If you have planned an important public activity that requires wireless network access for a large number of external visitors during the announced downtime, please contact the ICT-Helpdesk A.S.A.P., by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the ICT Service Portal https://vub.service-now.com/
Update VDI Monday 21 August
After the power cut the VDI could not be restarted on Monday morning due to a hardware component failure. As the equipment cannot be repaired (it was already in the process of being decommissioned since quite a while), the VDI will no longer be available, permanently. VDI users can contact the ICT-Helpdesk if they have specific requests concerning the VDI.
VUB Intranet interrupted on 23 August, VDI permanently decommissioned
Due to power cuts in building M (Campus Etterbeek) a number of ICT systems (among which the VUB Intranet and VDI) will be unavailable on Wednesday 23 August from 16h until Wednesday 23 August 22h. Due to a hardware component failure, the VDI had to be decommissioned permanently.
Below you can find the list of impacted applications and systems:
* VUB Intranet
* Fileshares within VDI omgeving
* Exchange 2007 (admin.vub.ac.be)
* Sharepoint 2007
* CaLI OTA (testing environment for CaLi)
* EasyPay OTA (testing environment for EasyPay)
* PURE OTA (testing environment for Pure)
For the last 3 services, this maintenance will have no impact on the productional systems, these will remain online.
Panopto unavailable 12 Aug 10 PM - 13 Aug 1 AM
On Saturday, August 12, the Panopto service will be upgraded to Panopto 5.5. As a result, the Panopto recordings will be inaccessible from August 12 10:00 PM to August 13 1:00 AM.
Additional information is available on the VUB Service Portal .
Service interruptions on Tuesday 8 August 14:00-23:00
A complication occurred during a planned intervention on the VUB network on Tuesday 8 August. As a result, other services became inaccessible from 16:00 among which the mailserver at the Shared ICT Services Centre (formerly the Computing Centre). Wednesday morning all services were again available. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
On Tuesday 8th of August there will be another necessary maintenance on the VUB network. Therefore it will be impossible to reach a number of VUB applications as off 14h. We expect these services to be back online at 20h. Read more...
Applications affected as of 14h are:
We expect these services to be back online at 20h.
Our apologies for any inconvenience.
(1) During the maintenance window students will not be able to apply online and (re-)enrolling in the Student SelfService will also not be possible.
Internet outage of 10 minutes on Sunday 06/08/2017
There will be an Internet outage of 15 minutes on Sunday 06/08/2017 between 16h00 and 17h00.
Webmail3 and podcast.ulb.ac.be will be unavailable Wednesday August 2nd
1 August 2017
Webmail3 and podcast.ulb.ac.be Service will be unavailable Wednesday August 2nd at 14H30 for about 10 minutes. and again at 17H00 for 10 minutes
The new webmail https://webmail.ulb.ac.be remains available.
Sorry the incovenience.
Internet outage of 2 times 30 minutes on Sunday 30/07/2017
12 July 2017
There will be an Internet outage of 2 times 30 minutes on Sunday 30/07/2017 between 14h00 and 16h00. A second outage of 15 minutes is planned during Sunday 06/08/2017 between 16h00 and 17h00.
Hydra: planned maintenance - 03/07 to 06/07
30 June 2017
We are planning a maintenance window on Hydra from 03/07 to 06/07 with a scheduled downtime.
The maintenance will be used to perform several updates/upgrades on Hydra core services and fix pending issues with some equipment. The maintenance will not kill jobs on the cluster or remove queued jobs.
Login (ssh) access will be blocked from Monday morning at 7:00 until Thursday evening. We configured the Hydra cluster to avoid running jobs during the maintenance windows. Running jobs should complete before the maintenance window and queued jobs will remain in the Pending state until the cluster is re-activated.
As for previous planned Hydra downtimes, a reservation on the cluster from 19/06 has been placed given the two weeks maximum walltime. Jobs that can complete before the 03/07 will (continue to) run and those submitted with a walltime bumping into the maintenance window will be kept pending until the maintenance is completed.
Short network interruption on May 23 at 17:00
22 May 2017
An operation on the SISC datacenter network infrastructure will be performed Tuesday May 23 at 17:00 to increase bandwidth to/from services. A very short network interruption is planned for a limited number of services. No impact is foreseen on services availabilities.
Raptools unavailable Friday 19 May
20 May 2017
Raptools was unavailable for an upgrade during a large part of Friday 19 May. Due to unforeseen complications, the upgrade was taking longer than expected. The service is now back online. Our apologies for any inconveniences caused.
S-Plus server unavailable Tuesday 16 May 2017
The S-Plus server - room reservations and class schedules - was unavailable in the morning of Tuesday 16 May.
Hydra back online after emergency power off on Tuesday May 9 2017
On Tuesday May 9th at 9:30 the datacentre cooling system failed. Given the temperature increase in the datacentre we had to switch off the Hydra compute nodes. Once the cooling system has been repaired, we'll switch on the compute
nodes. Jobs that were running will be lost but those in the queue have been
kept. All data are safe on the Hydra storage. We'll send another notification once the clusters are back online.
Microsoft patches critical vulnerability in Office
Microsoft has fixed a so-called zero-day vulnerability in Office programs such as Word as well as WordPad which are exploited by third parties to infect computers with viruses and malware and obtain confidential information such as passwords and bank account numbers. We advise all users to update their Office versions (Word, Excel,...) to the latest patch.
Information about Microsoft Office Updates:
Information about the exploit:
VUB Wireless networks unavailable Thu 20 Apr 8:30-9:00
The VUB wireless networks VUBnext, eduroam en VUBguest will be unavailable for maintenance on Thursday, 20 April for max. 15 minutes between 8:30 and 9:00.
CaLi unavailable Tue 4 Apr 18:00 - Wed 5 Apr 06:00
The Campus LifeCycle Application (CaLi) and the SelfService Students will be unavailable from Tuesday 4 April 18:00 until Wednesday 5 April 06:00 for maintenance.
Network interruptions to student rooms campus Etterbeek fixed
There have been network problems in the (on-campus) student rooms on campus Etterbeek from Thursday evening 30 March 2017 until Friday 31 March afternoon. The network team has further investigated the problem and has found the cause. The situation has now been normalized. Student rooms in Schoofslaan and Nieuwelaan were not affected.
Network issues on Campus Etterbeek Wednesday afternoon<b/>
Users on Campus Etterbeek who reside in buildings G, F, T and other buildings that are solely routed through building G were not be able to access the network and Internet part of Wednesday afternoon. The network team has fixed the issue around 17:30.
Access to port 111 from outside the university network to be denied
As a security precaution, access from outside the VUB/ULB university network to port 111 - a port mapper - will be denied as of Wednesday, 15 February 2017. If you require access to this port, contact the ICT-Helpdesk. Read more...
Port 111 is a port mapper with similar functions to Microsoft's port 135 or DCOM DCE.
Technical details and issues: http://www.speedguide.net/port.php?port=111
Security Concerns: Provides rpc port map without auth, has no filtering or logging, rpcinfo probes can quickly find Unix hosts.
Other security issues: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmap
The port mapper service was discovered to be used in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and Distributed Reflective Denial of Service (DRDoS) attacks in 2015. By using a spoofed port mapper request, an attacker can amplify the effects on a target because a portmap query will return many times more data than in the original request.
As port 111 poses quite a number of security concerns, the network team will proceed in denying access to port 111 from outside the university network as of Wednesday, 15 February 2017.
Slower network Pleinlaan 9
*All* network traffic in Pleinlaan 9 is being routed over the slower backup link at this time. Network interruptions are to be expected at a later date to reroute traffic over the main link.
Wireless networks VUB unavailable Monday 13 Feb 8:30-8:45
Monday morning, 13 February, all wireless networks at the VUB (VUBnext, eduroam, VUBguest) will be inaccessible for about 15 minutes for system maintenance between 8:30 and 8:45.
Service interruptions on Wednesday 8 February
The following services will be unavailable on Wednesday 8 February, from 07:00 until 07:30 and from 12:30 until 12:45 for an upgrade of the supporting server: nestor, the VUB webserver and the Intranet of VUB and ULB. Between 12:00 and 12:10 the VUB LDAP server will also be unavailable for system maintenance.
nestor: no access to the Z-drives in the public computerrooms of the VUB (buildings B & K), nor to diskspace mounted from NESTOR with SAMBA ("mapped networkdrives") and the nestor directories on HYDRA.
ldap vub: no login in VUB CAS, Pointcarre, SelfService Students, Raptools during the downtime.
Wireless network in Pleinlaan 9 back online
The wireless networks in Pleinlaan 9 are again available after an issue earlier this morning, Friday 3 February.
SelfService Students - CaLi - accessible again
The SelfService Students (CaLi) is again accessible after an issue on Monday afternoon 9 January until Tuesday morning 10 January with the new security certificate on the back-end authentication server.
PURE again available
Pure was unavailable on Sunday 8 January 2017. The service was restored on Monday morning
Short interruption of mailbox consultation on 2 January at 17:30
2 January 2017
There will be a short interruption of the incoming mailservice on Monday 2 January around 17:30 for max. 5 minutes.
Mail delivery was delayed on Thursday 22 December
Due to a massive spam injection from a compromised computer at the university, mail delivery is currently delayed for 4 hours. Our university mailservers may also be blacklisted with external mail servers, resulting in delayed deliveries or rejected messages to external addresses. The system administrators are currently cleaning the system, delayed messages for university addresses will be delivered throughout the afternoon.
ownCloud again online after upgrade
The Computing Centre will perform the upgrade of the OwnCloud software
from the current version 8.0.3 to version 9.1.2. The operation will start on Friday 16 December 15:00. During the upgrade operation, the web portal will be placed in "maintenance mode", i.e.not usable, and your synchronisation agents won't transfer files any more.
The upgrade procedure will be performed in several stages and will take 3 hours or more, depending on the internal changes required during the upgrade (the internal database schema upgrade for instance).
All the measures will be taken to avoid any data loss during the process: backups will be performed before any upgrade stage.
Interruptions to Internet 6 Dec until 9 Dec 23:59-06:00
6 December 2016
After an incident on 29 November last at our Internet provider Belnet, Belnet will proceed to a number of urgent system upgrades on their network. These interventions are planned during the nights of 6, 7, 8 and 9 December, from 23:59 until 06:00 each. During these periods, short network interruptions may occur for max. 15 minutes each.
New security certificate for VUBnext wireless network
On Tuesday, 6 December, the VUB network team was going to install a new security certificate for the wireless network VUBnext. Due to incompatibilities with Windows 7, the change was reversed.
The change of certificate will now be installed on Wednesday, 7 December around 8:30. Users will have to accept the new certificate (named secure-login.vub.ac.be) when connecting to VUBnext,. The Eduroam and VUBguest are not affected by this change.
ULB outgoing mailserver no longer blacklisted by Proofpoint
The ULB mailserver was blacklisted with Proofpoint on 29 and 30 November. As a result, sending messages to any organisation that uses Proofpoint as anti-spam measure resulted in a rejected message. The blacklisting was removed on 30 November in the afternoon.
Central Authentication Service unavailable on 28 November
The VUB's Central Authentication Service (CAS) seems to be unavailable this Monday evening, 28 November. As a result Pointcarré and other online services that depend on CAS are inaccessible.
Network interruption Studentrooms Nieuwelaan Tuesday 22 November
There may be network interruptions on Tuesday 22 November from 12:00 until 17:00 to/from the studentrooms on the Nieuwelaan for network maintenance.
Problems with digital course recordings are solved
21 October 2016
The issues with the digital course recordings which produce errors (Panopto digilessen) are solved since October 20th.
There were occasional lockouts when connecting to a service at VUB/ULB from outside the university. These lockouts could last a couple of minutes. The network team has investigated the issues and implemented a fix on 4 October.
Telnet from outside the university to be deactivated on Monday 26 September
As of Monday, 26 September 9 AM, users will no longer be able to log in into a server at the university from a remote computer outside the university using the Telnet protocol. If you need to log on onto another computer, use the more secure protocol secure shell (ssh). Read more...
Telnet allows users to log in into a server from another computer.
Because of the numerous intrusion attempts that have been going on lately which on occasion have resulted in connectivity issues to university services (Denial of Service), the telnet protocol will be disabled for computers outside the university.
Therefore, as of Monday, 26 September 9 AM, accessing a server at the university from a computer outside the university using Telnet will no longer be possible.
If you need to log in into another computer, use secure shell (ssh) which is more secure as well (telnet connections are not encrypted and therefore not secure, especially through unsecured wireless networks).
If you have a server that only is accessible with telnet and require it to be accessibly from outside the university, send an email to ICT-Helpdesk requesting an exception. Please also motivate your request and include the name and IP address of the server.
Occasional lockouts to university services from outside the university network
The lockouts to university services from outside the university network should be solved. The network team has implemented a number of changes that should prevent these lockouts from occurring.
Hydra offline after an unplanned power cut this week-end
Due to a power cut on Friday night in the Computing Centre a lot of VUB/ULB services were unavailable on Saturday. The colleagues from ICT have worked hard to restart all services. Most of those services should be back online since Saturday afternoon. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
The Hydra cluster was offline until Monday. The system is currently back online.
Power cut in student rooms Campus Jette on 20 and 21 September
Due to maintenance on the power lines to the student rooms on Campus Jette, there will be general powers and no connection to the network on Tuesday 20 September (buildings B-C-D) and Wednesday 21 September (buildings A-E-Cental building) from 6:30 until noon.
Network instability VUB campus Jette on Friday 9 September 2016
The network in Jette may be unstable Friday morning 9 September for the repair of the router.
Connectivity problems for Schoofslaan and Triomlaan
The network problems in Triomflaan and Schoofslaan of Monday morning, 5 September, have been fixed for the time being, although the router is unstable. The network team is working on a permanent solution.
Connectivity problems to campus Jette
2 september 2016
Due to faulty network equipment, campus Jette is disconnected from the network and Internet on Friday 2 September. Most problems were solved in the afternoon, everything was back to normal around 21:00.
Problems with user database at the Computing Centre
Due to a problem with the user database at the Computing Centre this Friday morning 12 August, users could not log in into their accounts, among which to send and receive e-mail, log in onto the Intranet etc... A rollback to a previous version of the database was performed, users now have again access. Read more...
If you still have problems, we suggest you to change a new password using our PAM interface:
Please follow the link Lost your password or NetID ?
After half an hour your password should be synchronised on all VUB/ULB applications. If your problem then is still not solved, please contact the VUB or ULB ICT-Helpdesk.
August 12: Problems with user database at the Computing Centre 12
The Personal Account Manager was temporarily deactivated until August 15. Until then new students were not able to activate their accounts, neither to change their password.
Incompatibility McAfee and Windows 10 Anniversary Update
We have been informed that several Intel Security (McAfee) products are NOT compatible with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Users running McAfee on their system SHOULD NOT install or upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update at this time. Read more...
All details about affected products and delaying Windows updates can be found on
Updates about the status will be announced on this page.
Cumulus environment unavailable Tuesday 9 August 18:00-22:00
Due to the failure of a critical hardware component in the cumulus hardware environment, an urgent hardware intervention is necessary that will, among other services, affect the student application software, the SelfService Students and Pointcarré. This intervention is planned for Tuesday, 9 August from 18:00 until 22:00 during which applications on the Cumulus environment will be unavailable.
A non-exhaustive list of applications that will be unavailable during the downtime are
- Training and education sites
- Hosted sites: VUB Today, IES, CVO, Veco, Wordpress and Drupal sites.
- Test environments: PointCarre, Kwaliteitszorg, Bib, etc..
Unscheduled interruption to Internet Tuesday night 2 August
In the evening of Tuesday 2 August 2016 the university's Internet connection was down between 9:45 PM and 2:15 AM, due to a problem with our Internet provider Belnet. Read more...
The Belnet announcement can be found at
Powercut on Campus Jette Wednesday 20 July 15:00
Due to an unplanned power cut on Campus Jette VUB, an urgent intervention of the electrical equipment on Campus Jette is required. Between 15:00 and 16:00 the power will be cut in buildings A, B, C, D, E, F and G on campus Jette. The power will remain available in building K, child daycare center, Agora and Student dorms.
HYDRA power cut on Wednesday 6th of July
The compute nodes on the Hydra cluster will be stopped on Wednesday 6th of July at 20:00.
A global reservation was created on all the cluster nodes to prevent
jobs running during the power cut.
For unknown reasons, the reservation recently disappeared from the scheduler. Some jobs with a walltime beyond the power cut were therefore started. If you have running jobs, please check if their walltime will exceed 20:00 tomorrow.
The reservation was recreated.