A short orientation to the Cluster and what Tufts HPC is and is not

Many new users only know about Windows or Macs and the associated environment available. Often the mind set and expectations are not exactly aligned with the linux/unix typical experience as found at most High Performance computing facilities.

High Performance Computing(HPC) refers to the means of providing massive computing resources for tasks that are not suitable for desktops, laptops, iPads and portable devices. The Tufts Cluster is designed in a typical research cluster sense for resource scalability, redundancy and consistency with other HPC centers. Compute resources are shared amongst users and access to compute nodes are allocated by a job scheduling program(slurm) that provides different levels of service.

The typical use case:

There is no cluster desktop login support(XDM), similar to the Windows Remote Desktop service. Currently there is no web based access to the cluster, but some solution is expected in 2016. Account holders are able to login remotely or locally to the cluster with an ssh desktop client program. File transfers are supported by use of a desktop file transfer program. Cluster programs run on cluster compute nodes either while one is logged in or even while you are not logged into the cluster. Multiple tasks may be submitted to compute nodes through use of the various slurm partitions. Interactive use of a program, similar to desktop usage, is also supported. This may require a supported X11 serverĀ  program(cygwin) to be installed on your computer so that you may receive and redisplay the user interface of the program you are using.

The Tufts cluster does not support the following:

The Tufts cluster does support the following: