is this a good candidate for bproc?

Russell Nordquist rdn at uchicago.edu
Thu Jun 26 02:45:18 EDT 2003


I've been lurking on this list for a while and I blame this question on
that. I keep seeing new stuff I want to play with. Yesterday it was the
iButton and today it's bproc.

Here is the situation....I have a four node "cluster" that will be running
independent computational jobs. No mpi, etc just lots 'o non-parallel jobs.
My initial inclination was to setup a traditional (ie ssh to nodes and
start jobs) cluster with SGE (and hide the ssh to nodes part). That way I
can limit one job per CPU and be done with it.

But, then I got to thinking about single system images. One issue I have
had with queue systems is jobs lingering after their queue slot is gone
(admittedly this has only happened with mpich programs, but our clusters
haven't done much else until now). Users don't know to check process
running on the nodes (and shouldn't need to) so I get e-mails about slow
jobs and find the non-scheduled run aways. bproc's ability to allow users
to manage processes from the master node would take care of this (hey,
it's like a twin tower origin 200 now :). and I won't have to deal with
libraries, etc on the nodes.

However, I've never admined bproc or even been on a bproc system.
Does this sound like a good place for bproc? I would use bproc+SGE to keep
the 1 job 1 cpu efficiency. Is it realistic to expect that any job that
can be run using "ssh node1 -e ./job.exe" would run with "bpsh 1
./job.exe", or are there code related gotchas (threads?)?

I guess I could set up both and see how it each works, but I wanted to get
a feel for how useful people found bproc and it's limitations. Although I
really want to experiment with bproc, I need to keep the day to day admin
time on this system low.

thanks
russell

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Russell Nordquist
UNIX Systems Administrator
Geophysical Sciences Computing
http://geosci.uchicago.edu/computing
NSIT, University of Chicago
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