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 Imperial College London on Friday May 13th (9:30 - 16:30).


Instead of a traditional lecture-based course, this workshop is designed to provide an opportunity for attendees to gain individually tailored help and advice from the ARCHER team and HPC specialists and to ask questions pertaining directly to their use of ARCHER.

Attendees will be assigned a technical advisor. This advisor will work closely with them throughout the day to help run their primary simulation code and any associated essential software on ARCHER, to help evaluate its performance (providing guidance on the use of available tools if appropriate), to advise on how the system can be used most efficiently with the existing code, and finally to suggest possible changes that could be made to the code to improve its performance.

The workshop is aimed at:

  • New and potential future users of the ARCHER service looking to port their code to the machine or to explore its performance prior to an application for ARCHER time.

  • Current users of the ARCHER service looking to improve aspects of the performance of their code, e.g. scaling and/or IO, in order to make efficient use of their existing time allocation or to enable new types of simulations to be performed.

  • Users who want to learn more about data management, using the RDF (Research Data Facility) and how this can help their work on ARCHER.

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

As part of registration you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name of primary simulation code and any other essential software (if applicable)
  • Current ARCHER user (yes/no)
  • What do you want to achieve on the day (e.g. getting started running code, improving performance)?

Please enter this information in the "Any other information" part of the registration form. If you are part of a small team applying for the workshop please register all team members individually but mention that you are part of a team when entering your code details.

This course is free to all academics.

If you are not familiar with ARCHER we encourage you to look at the on-line training material available at


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.


Scheduled start and end times and breaks are given in the timetable below. The activities pursued during the workshop 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 and registration
  • 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

Course Materials

Course Hackpad for sharing links, resources, ideas, questions.


The course will be held at Imperial College London.


Please use the registration page to register for ARCHER courses.


If you have any questions please contact the ARCHER Helpdesk.