MSI Users Bulletin - March 2021

The Users Bulletin provides a summary of new policies, procedures, and events of interest to MSI users. It is published quarterly.

To request technical assistance with your MSI account, please contact the Help Desk via email at, by using the online Support Request Form, or by scheduling a video consultation.

MSI Users pipeline information

1. New Supercomputer:

We are finalizing the details of the contract, and hope to make the official announcement about the system soon. 

Thanks to everyone who submitted names for the new machine. We are currently reviewing them and will announce the winning name when it's been approved.  

2. HIPAA Cluster:

The new HIPAA cluster, Blackwell, is being installed. 

3. IPA Retirement:

MSI will be discontinuing the license for Qiagen’s Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software effective July 29th, 2021.

While IPA has historically been a leader in pathway analysis, over the past several years, freely available pathway databases and open-source tools for pathway analysis have become available. These tools rival Qiagen’s IPA and support a broader set of study species. Several of these open-source tools are the preferred approaches for MSI’s analysts. While MSI will no longer offer IPA, we will continue to offer several different resources for pathway analysis.

For the last several years, MSI has reviewed the software licenses we purchase to make sure our software offerings line up with our mission to provide high performance computing (HPC) services. IPA runs on Qiagen’s servers, not our HPC infrastructure, and therefore does not meet our criteria for continuing support. IPA is also one of the most expensive licenses MSI purchases and the cost has been increasing every year. In our current budget climate, MSI can no longer justify this expenditure when there are equally powerful free options available.

The MSI website will be updated with the most current information.

Questions can be sent to the MSI Help Desk.

4. Log-in Node Decommissioned:

On February 3, the servers called were retired. Users who used to use these servers can now connect directly to either Mesabi ( or Mangi ( A login attempt on will be automatically rerouted to Mesabi. SSH keys for logins can be found on the MSI website.

5. Research Exhibition 2021:

The annual MSI Research Exhibition will be held online on April 20, 2021. The event schedule will be posted on the MSI website as it is finalized.

The event will include presentations on the following topics:

  • Emerging and current HPC technologies from HPC company representatives
  • MSI’s roadmap and systems updates
  • UMII’s funding opportunities

6. Spring Tutorials:

Due to the continuing pandemic, we are not holding in-person tutorial sessions. However, we have our tutorial catalog available on the MSI YouTube channel.

We have experts available in Zoom sessions on many of these topics. The schedule for these events and descriptions of the tutorials can be found on the MSI website. If you would like to see a tutorial, go to the YouTube link found in the description. If you have further questions, you can sign up for the Q&A session and you will be able to talk live to an MSI expert.

Please note that the Python for Scientific Computing (March 23) and RNA-Seq Analysis (March 25) tutorials will be held LIVE via Zoom.

All current tutorials can be found on the MSI YouTube channel.

7. MSI Operations During COVID-19 Pandemic:

MSI staff are continuing to work from home for now. All MSI systems continue to be operational and can be accessed remotely. You can contact the MSI Help Desk for assistance by using the online Support Request Form, requesting a video consultation, or emailing

The MSI labs are closed while MSI staff are not working on campus. We are not processing access requests during this time. 

8. Requesting MSI Resources for COVID-19 Research:

The conditions surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic are changing fast and MSI staff want to do what we can to support and accelerate research and development that is directed toward solutions to this epidemic. If you are engaged in COVID-19 research, please contact us with a synopsis of your research and briefly describe how staff expertise or additional computational and data storage resources can help to advance and accelerate your research. We are working to develop “resource grants” for COVID-19 projects, which might include things like “code/workflow optimization,” “accelerated access to computing,” and “added allocations of storage” for COVID-19 related research. Your feedback will help us figure out how best to proceed. Please email withCOVID-19 Research” in the subject line.

9. 2021 DMD Conference:

Registration for the 2021 Design of Medical Devices Conference is open. The online conference will be held on April 12-15, 2021. Complete information can be found on the conference website.

10. Programming and Pizza:

Experienced programmers from Libraries, Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services, and Research Computing are available to help you out with your programming issues. Programming and Pizza sessions for the Spring 2021 semester are being held via Zoom (BYOP - Bring Your Own Pizza). Sessions are 30 minutes long. See the schedule and sign up.

11. U-Spatial Mapping Prize:

The U-Spatial Mapping Prize celebrates great design and cartography through maps. There are cash prizes awarded in several categories. The submission deadline for the 2021 prizes is May 14, 2021. Complete information and links to previous winners can be found at the U-Spatial website.

Discover Advanced Computing and Data Solutions at MSI

Our Services