Using HPC

This document provides background information and instructions for using the HPC clusters operated by the Office of Information Technology at the College of William & Mary.

Important Etiquette Notes

Because W&M's HPC clusters are designed to impose minimal limitations on users' projects, misuse by one user could disrupt others' work. In particular, please:

  • Do not run on front-end servers: only fairly short (less than 30-second) jobs using small amounts of memory (less than 100MB) can be run on login/front-end nodes (e.g. bora, meltemi, hurricane, typhoon, vortex, chesapeake, and storm). All other jobs must use the batch system, which helps ensure that jobs do not interfere with each other.
  • Pay attention to your disk usage: imposing quotas would be problematic and counter-productive in this environment, so it is very important that users run jobs in appropriate filesystems and make sure that there is more than enough room for their output to avoid disrupting the work of others who are using those filesystems.
  • Clean up when you are finished: the HPC systems cannot provide archival or long-term storage. If files no longer need to be available for work on the system, copy them off and delete them so that the space can be used for active projects. Any remaining files will be completely and permanently deleted after your account expires, so if your files need to remain available for work on the system, keep track of when your account will expire, and before it expires either renew your account or contact us to arrange to have your files reassigned to another user.
  • Do not share passwords or accounts: this is against W&M policy, and users found doing this are subject to having their account disabled, and possible further disciplinary action. Please contact the HPC group if you need assistance sharing files between accounts.