What is project-based resource management?
The RWTH Compute Cluster is a precious but limited resource of great help to research and education. In order to make best use of this expensive device, the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) requires a procedure to allocate computing resources following scientific considerations.
Thus, the project-based resource management is supposed to guarantee fair distribution of the available resources from scientific and technical points of view.
Researchers who would like to use more than the default quota of cluster resources are required to submit project applications that will undergo mandatory technical and scientific evaluations.
Students who would like to use more than the default quota of resources will only be able to do so in the context of university courses, seminars, practicum, thesis works or research projects and only when the corresponding scientist (thesis adviser, lecturer or principal investigator) has submitted a compute project proposal.
As an overview the competence newtwork HPC.NRW developed Quick Reference Cards for illustration of the application, approval and allocation process.
Who is (not) affected?
Project-based resource management affects the batch usage in the Linux partition of the compute cluster above a certain threshold which is measured in the amount of core-hours (core-h) CPU time you require for a certain period of time (max 1 year).
A detailed explanation of how corehours are calculated may be found via the following link: SLURM Accounting
Minor usage of compute resources is possible within default quota without any project submission by students and employees of RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich.
Please find a detailed explanation on project and private usage restrictions here: Overview of Compute Project Categories and Links to Submission Forms
Users can check their compute time usage for the past several months by logging into the cluster and executing the command r_wlm_usage, e.g. with parameter –m 12 in order to obtain usage statistics for the past 12 months.
Support for research and education
Scientists can request specific resource allocations for their research work, which are guaranteed to be available once they are approved, so that you can carry out your work in a planned manner.
In order to keep the overhead in limits, bigger allocations should not be requested individually but rather managed as projects that span up to one year. Continuations are of course possible.
Processes have been established in order to guarantee the orderly execution of courses and the ability for students to work on their theses when that requires the use of the RWTH Compute Cluster.
Courses can either take place as a single block or happen periodically during the semester.