Talk:Using the IRIDIA Cluster

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Discussion on who is supposed to use the cluster, and abuse

  • Outcome of admin meeting of Thursday 20th April 2006
Who can use the cluster
Only people directly associated with IRIDIA (students, post docs, etc.) can use the cluster. Researchers who left should arrange with their contact/collaborator/supervisor here, to use his/her login in case they need to use the cluster.
The cluster-policy
Max explained the cluster policy and a mem limit might be introduced.


  • Elio's thoughts :
Dear all,

please, take my thoughts in a constructive way.

I read on the IRIDIA Wiki page the following statement, which I take as 
the official position of the Lab:

"Only people directly associated with IRIDIA (students, post docs, etc.) 
can use the cluster. Researchers who left should arrange with their 
contact/collaborator/supervisor here, to use his/her login in case they 
need to use the cluster"

Taken from:
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/wiki/index.php/Administration_weekly_meetings#Thursday_20th_April_2006

With respect to the above statement I would like to add some comments. 
In my opinion, there are at least two reasons which may suggest to 
undertake a different direction to free the cluster from over usage. I 
believe that, the idea of revealing to "trusted" people the 
login/password of IRIDIA members is not the most efficient one because:

1) The recent history teaches us that even trusted people can cause 
problems. We experienced such a case in a not recent past when an IRIDIA 
member  created some trouble to Halva which was maintening the cluster 
at that time. I don't want to stigmatize the case. I DO believe that 
that action was more the result of an unexperienced person rather then 
the result of a real intetion to cause demages. However, it teaches us 
that even trusted people can cause problems. This is obviously always 
the case, but if each one as its own login/password it is easier to spot 
the responsibles, I guess, and sorry if I am wrong on this.

2) If using someone else login/password becomes the official practice 
for the IRIDIA cluster, as I read in the above statement, then even the 
trusted people can recursively apply the same practice and in a while we 
might have more jobs runnig then what we have at the moment. Do we have 
tools to prevent this from happening?

Thanks a lot for your attention.
Cheers,
Elio
Alex :
I agree with what Elio says. A login must be personal, and associated to one person only. If you want to prevent somebody from accessing the cluster, just disable the account. If we trust that person then it is fine, and we can let her access the cluster.
In general of course, there should be a kind of period during which an account is still usable. At least to retrieve files, to launche the five last replications that you always delayed and so on. Accounts should be simply deleted if that period is over and the owner of the account is no more doing something with IRIDIA. If someone is collaborating with a member of IRIDIA I think it is ok to let him have an account.
If we disagree with way people use the cluster, then either :
we find ways to define an efficient policy of cluster usage.
or we point out the problems and discuss them. It is anyway a matter of fairness.
I think that the cluster of IRIDIA is very good and unless everybody wants to make simulations at the same time, it is enough for all of us. Users should design carefully their source code to make it fast. Users should also avoid using the cluster for debugging purpose. You should not submit a set of simulations just to see if your code works. That you can do on your own computer and this way you respect the common resources.
As it is a common resource, we should also understand that it may not be immediately accessible. So when you forecast running a simulation you should know in advance that you may have to wait 1 day to have your jobs running.
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