[Beowulf] Definition of HPC

Jörg Saßmannshausen j.sassmannshausen at ucl.ac.uk
Wed Apr 17 01:47:12 PDT 2013

Hi all,

On Wednesday 17 April 2013 09:32:21 Herbert Fruchtl wrote:
> >> >"Owned compute" has some advantages over "rented compute."  In general,
> >> >the control one has over one's owned resources enables applications to
> >> >run with greater performance.  Some optimizations just demand root
> >> >access!
> > 
> > As someone who has been Scientific Computing/HPC System Admin, I can
> > tell you this is a complete myth.
> You need at least access to the person with root access. If (s)he's a
> colleague who needs to keep 10 more users in the department happy, you can
> sit down and find a solution if your program doesn't work. Try to convince
> Amazon that you need SHMMAX increased, and that their default processor
> affinity settings slow your code down.
>    Herbert

I agree with Herbert here.
Even if it is not something like SHMMAX etc., try and convince admins on a 
system you are not root that a global installation of a heavily used program 
does make sense (that is the easier bit) and ask them to install a group for 
that program. Try then to get users in that group. I am currently looking into 
that problem and I get stalled at the group-installation level here. 
Fortunately, as we are members of that facility there is light at the end of 
the tunnel. I doubt something like that could be done with Cloud Computing or 
other type or remote hosting. 

All the best from a grey London


Jörg Saßmannshausen
University College London
Department of Chemistry
Gordon Street

email: j.sassmannshausen at ucl.ac.uk
web: http://sassy.formativ.net

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