[Beowulf] Definition of HPC

Adam DeConinck ajdecon at ajdecon.org
Thu Apr 18 11:45:27 PDT 2013


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Tying in another recent discussion on the list, "root access" is
actually one of the places I've seen some success using Cloud for HPC.
It costs more, it's virtualized, and you usually can't get 
HPC-specialized hardware, so it's obviously not a silver bullet for 
all kinds of systems research... but on the other hand, you're free of 
sysadmin tyranny and can experiment as much as you like. And none of the
other users will scream at you when they learn you were responsible for 
killing their jobs, *again*.

As a tyrannical sysadmin myself ;-) , I've helped some of my users
build ephemeral cloud clusters and shared configuration management
scripts so their cloud systems "feel" a lot like the in-house system.
A few times this has even resulted in changes we've pulled back into
the shared cluster, as sudo-able commands or job options.

(I one had the "pleasure" of helping to clean up a small cluster where
over a third of the users had unlimited sudo rights. Only time I've ever
seen users made *happy* by the introduction of a ticketing system and
change management...)

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