[Beowulf] why we need cheap, open learning clusters

Christopher Samuel samuel at unimelb.edu.au
Mon May 20 18:04:36 PDT 2013

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On 20/05/13 21:29, Joe Landman wrote:

> A long ... long time ago, on a blog far, far away 
> (http://scalability.org/?p=628) , I groused about what I called "IT
>  clusters".  These were clusters designed and built by IT folks,
> not HPC folks.  Run the way IT folks would run it.  Not the way HPC
> folks would run it.  Makes the IT crowd happy.  End users?  Not so
> much ...

This was an HPC system bought by scientists and run by their techies,
it was their first exposure to clusters.  The problem was they were
bound by their IT policies (unless they wanted to get fired) and those
policies were set (IIRC) by an external organisation.

Thankfully things have changed an awful lot for them over years and
they can now run clusters well by themselves without the unhelpful

> 3) call in one of them thar expensive experts, but only for a short
> time, to analyze what we are doing, and make suggestions

Fortunately this was a bit more enlightened, I ended up working with
them on and off for years (until I came here in fact) on both that and
their next cluster and getting them up to speed with running these
systems was an integral part of the exercise.

All the best,
- -- 
 Christopher Samuel        Senior Systems Administrator
 VLSCI - Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative
 Email: samuel at unimelb.edu.au Phone: +61 (0)3 903 55545
 http://www.vlsci.org.au/      http://twitter.com/vlsci

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