[Beowulf] Putting /home on Lusture of GPFS

Michael Di Domenico mdidomenico4 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 23 10:35:30 PST 2014

I've always shied away from gpfs/lustre on /home and favoured netapp's
for one simple reason.  snapshots.  i can't tell you home many times
people have "accidentally" deleted a file.

but yes, the "user education" about running jobs from /home usually
happens at least once a year when someone new starts.  we tend to
publicly shame that person and they don't seem to do it anymore

you never want to be "that guy" that slowed the whole system down... :)

On Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 12:12 PM, Prentice Bisbal
<prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu> wrote:
> Beowulfers,
> I have limited experience managing parallel filesytems like GPFS or Lustre.
> I was discussing putting /home and /usr/local for my cluster on a GPFS or
> Lustre filesystem, in addition to using it just for /scratch. I've never
> done this before, but it doesn't seem like all that bad an idea. My logic
> for this is the following:
> 1. Users often try to run programs from in /home, which leads to errors, no
> matter how many times I tell them not to do that. This would make the system
> more user-friendly. I could use quotas/policies to encourage them to use
> 'steer' them to use other filesystems if needed.
> 2. Having one storage system to manage is much better than 3.
> 3. Profit?
> Anyway, another person in the conversation felt that this would be bad,
> because if someone was running a job that would hammer the fileystem, it
> would make the filesystem unresponsive, and keep other people from logging
> in and doing work. I'm not buying this concern for the following reasons:
> If a job can hammer your parallel filesystem so that the login nodes become
> unresponsive, you've got bigger problems, because that means other jobs
> can't run on the cluster, and the job hitting the filesystem hard has
> probably slowed down to a crawl, too.
> I know there are some concerns  with the stability of parallel filesystems,
> so if someone wants to comment on the dangers of that, too, I'm all ears. I
> think that the relative instability of parallel filesystems compared to NFS
> would be the biggest concern, not performance.
> --
> Prentice Bisbal
> Manager of Information Technology
> Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute (RDI2)
> Rutgers University
> http://rdi2.rutgers.edu
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