[Beowulf] Interactive vs batch, and schedulers

Luc Vereecken KineticLuc at gmail.com
Fri Jan 17 02:34:32 PST 2020

Hi Jim,

Something like this can be done within traditional resource managers by
using consumable generic resources, and oversubscribing your nodes. E.g.
a 32core node would be defined as a 64 node core, with 32 "batch"
resources, and 32 "interactive" resources. Submitting a job to a batch
queue requiring "batch" resources would be the traditional scheduling.
Submitting a job requesting an "interactive" resource would allow adding
that (short) job on top of the already running jobs. Good luck managing
the other resources (memory, disk,...) and the users abusing it :-)


On 1/17/2020 12:24 AM, Lux, Jim (US 337K) via Beowulf wrote:
> Are there any references out there that discuss the tradeoffs between
> interactive and batch scheduling (perhaps some from the 60s and 70s?) –
> Most big HPC systems have a mix of giant jobs and smaller ones managed
> by some process like PBS or SLURM, with queues of various sized jobs.
> What I’m interested in is the idea of jobs that, if spread across many
> nodes (dozens) can complete in seconds (<1 minute) providing essentially
> “interactive” access, in the context of large jobs taking days to
> complete.   It’s not clear to me that the current schedulers can
> actually do this – rather, they allocate M of N nodes to a particular
> job pulled out of a series of queues, and that job “owns” the nodes
> until it completes.  Smaller jobs get run on (M-1) of the N nodes, and
> presumably complete faster, so it works down through the queue quicker,
> but ultimately, if you have a job that would take, say, 10 seconds on
> 1000 nodes, it’s going to take 20 minutes on 10 nodes.
> Jim
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