[Beowulf] [EXTERNAL] HPC for community college?
Lux, Jim (US 337K)
james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Feb 19 15:59:23 PST 2020
I would think so.
If nothing else, there’s stuff you learn that will be usable in other places:
1. The whole process of bringing up a cluster and getting all the tools to work – it’s a learning exercise in itself, and a bit out of the usual “sysadmin a bunch of Windows users”
2. Once you’ve got a cluster, there’s things you can do with it to learn about HPC, HTC (an acronym I just learned today), and BigData – if you’re willing to let people “break” the cluster, there’s a whole raft of networking, shared disk, and other sysadmin things. If you’re going to have a batch resource manager like Slurm or PBS, then folks can learn about how to submit jobs to a queue, how to instrument your jobs to figure out whether it’s actually helping or hurting, trade off things like “how many threads will I let each job use”
3. Many people find working with a cluster easier than working with a bunch of spun up AWS instances, particularly if you’ve got a EP kind of work flow, and, although AWS is pretty cheap, a private cluster is free. The fact that the cluster generally has a shared disk volume as well as local node scratch makes the whole problem of distributing data to worker nodes and getting results back in one place something you can either ignore (and take the hit when all nodes hit your disk at the same time), or you can experiment with staging.
I just heard a talk from someone who’s producing maps of ice flow rates on Antarctica by taking millions of historical satellite images and looking for matching features that have moved. It’s a pretty parallelizable task, and some of the data is being run on clusters here at JPL https://www.pnas.org/content/116/4/1095
From: Beowulf <beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org> on behalf of Mark Kosmowski <mark.kosmowski at solidstatecomputation.com>
Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 11:54 AM
To: "beowulf at beowulf.org" <beowulf at beowulf.org>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [Beowulf] HPC for community college?
Is there a role for a modest HPC cluster at the community college?
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