[Beowulf] Definition of HPC

Prentice Bisbal prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu
Wed Apr 17 11:29:01 PDT 2013

On 04/17/2013 04:47 AM, Jörg Saßmannshausen wrote:
> 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.

Sadly, there's plenty of bad system admins out there who don't really 
help their users. I like to think I'm NOT one of them. For me, my goal 
is to know more than my users about the nitty-gritty of operating 
systems/applications/HPC  so that I'm the one suggesting or making the 
changes before they do. I want to open their eyes to the possibilities 
of what they can do, not wait for them to open my eyes. If the users 
have to ask the system admin to make changes to improve performance, 
that system admin isn't doing his job. I realize that this is 
unfortunately the case in may organizations. \

Rant over. Get this topic back on track.


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