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Scheduling & Job Management (3-part series): How to Get the Most from a Cluster


Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 20:00 MDT to Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 22:00 MDT

Speaker Info:

Kamil Marcinkowski
WestGrid Site Lead / System Administrator
University of Alberta


This online workshop is targeted at current WestGrid account holders and focuses on getting the most out of a cluster using a scheduler. Split into three-parts, each two-hour session will provide hands-on training and offer users a chance to experiment with job submission techniques.

Part 1 will discuss how a scheduler works and how to use the knowledge to your advantage. Participants will practice how to submit basic jobs, with a focus on productivity. Other topics covered include:

    • optimizing walltime 
    • MPI and OpenMP jobs 
    • job arrays 
    • interactive jobs

Part 2 will discuss how to submit and run more advanced jobs. Participants will practice examining jobs, and understand their state. Knowledge and practice of the topics covered in Part 1 is a prerequisite for attending this workshop. Other topics covered include:

    • jobs and memory 
    • partitions 
    • gpus 
    • software licenses, job dependencies, accounting groups and advanced requests

Part 3 will discuss how a cluster chooses which jobs are to be run first by examining the topics of fairness, priority, and reservations. Participants will examine the state of the cluster and their jobs in order to troubleshoot problems. Knowledge and practice of the topics covered in Parts 1 and 2 is a prerequisite for attending this workshop.

Workshop Materials:

Who Should Attend:
This session is intended for current WestGrid account holders who have had some experience submitting jobs but would like to learn how to increase their job productivity and efficiency. Familiarity with logging in to WestGrid systems, using UNIX and basic job script commands is recommended.

Pre-requisite Knowledge and Requirements:

  • You must have a WestGrid account to participate in this session. To register for an account, visit this page. 
  • Basic knowledge of Unix/Linux and scripting (or similar experience) is required. Participants should know: 
    • What a man page is 
    • How to edit, copy, and delete files 
    • How to use top and ps to see resources used of a process 
    • What unix environment variables are, how to set and display them


 If you have any questions about this session or would like more information, please contact us.