[Beowulf] Introduction and question

Benson Muite benson_muite at emailplus.org
Thu Mar 21 02:08:03 PDT 2019

"Many employers look for people who studied humanities and learned IT by 
themselves, for their wider appreciation of human values."

Mark Burgess


On 2/23/19 4:30 PM, Will Dennis wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I thought I’d give a brief introduction, and see if this list is a 
> good fit for my questions that I have about my HPC-“ish” infrastructure...
> I am a ~30yr sysadmin (“jack-of-all-trades” type), completely 
> self-taught (B.A. is in English, that’s why I’m a sysadmin :-P) and 
> have ended up working at an industrial research lab for a large 
> multi-national IT company (http://www.nec-labs.com). In our lab we 
> have many research groups (as detailed on the aforementioned website) 
> and a few of them are now using “HPC” technologies like Slurm, and 
> I’ve become the lead admin for these groups. Having no prior 
> background in this realm, I’m learning as fast as I can go :)
> Our “clusters” are collections of 5-30 servers, all collections bought 
> over years and therefore heterogeneous hardware, all with 
> locally-installed OS (i.e. not trad head-node with PXE-booted diskless 
> minions) which is as carefully controlled as I can make it via 
> standard OS install via Cobbler templates, and then further configured 
> via config management (we use Ansible.) Networking is basic 10GbE 
> between nodes (we do have Infiniband availability on one cluster, but 
> it’s fell into disuse now since the project that has required it has 
> ended.) Storage is one or more traditional NFS servers (some use ZFS, 
> some not.) We have within the past few years adopted Slurm WLM for a 
> job-scheduling system on top of these collections, and now are up to 
> three different Slurm clusters, with I believe a fourth on the way.
> My first question for this list is basically “do I belong here?” I 
> feel there’s a lot of HPC concepts it would be good for me to learn, 
> so as I can improve the various research group’s computing 
> environments, but not sure if this list is for much larger “true HPC” 
> environments, or would be a good fit for a “HPC n00b” like me...
> Thanks for reading, and let me know your opinions :)
> Best,
> Will
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