[Beowulf] HPC workflows

John Hearns hearnsj at googlemail.com
Mon Nov 26 07:26:42 PST 2018

This may not be the best place to discuss this - please suggest a better
forum if you have one.
I have come across this question in a few locations. Being specific, I am a
fan of the Julia language. Ont he Juia forum a respected developer recently
asked what the options were for keeping code developed on a laptop in sync
with code being deployed on an HPC system.
There was some discussion of having Git style repositories which can be
synced to/from.
My suggestion was an ssh mount of the home directory on the HPC system,
which I have configured effectively int he past when using remote HPC

At a big company I worked with recently, the company provided home
directories on NFS Servers. But the /home/username directory on the HPC was
different - on higher performance storage. The 'company' home was mounted -
so you could copy between them. But we did have the inevitable incidents of
jobs being run from company NFS - and pulling code across the head node
interfaces etc.

Developers these days are used to carrying their Mac laptops around and
working at hotdesks, at home, at conferences. ME too - and I love it.
Though I have a lovely HP Spectre Ultrabook.
Again their workflow is to develop on the laptop and upload code to Github
type repositories. Then when running on a cloud service the software ids
downloaded from the Repo.
There are of course HPC services on the cloud, with gateways to access them.

This leads me to ask - shoudl we be presenting HPC services as a 'cloud'
service, no matter that it is a non-virtualised on-premise setup?
In which case the way to deploy software would be via downloading from
I guess this is actually more common nowadays.

I think out loud that many HPC codes depend crucially on a $HOME directory
being presnet on the compute nodes as the codes look for dot files etc. in
$HOME. I guess this can be dealt with by fake $HOMES which again sync back
to the Repo.

And yes I know containerisation may be the saviour here!

Sorry for a long post.
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