Research Computing Support at the University
ITS offers a range of computing facilities including High Performance Computing (HPC), High Throughput Computing (HTC) and grid computing to support the multi-disciplinary research projects at the University that require intensive computational power and resources. A variety of scientific software tools are made available on these facilities and you can find the list at http://www.its.hku.hk/services/research/hpc/software.
New HTC Resources
Apart from the new heterogeneous HPC cluster system as introduced in another article of this Newsletter issue, we are also supporting HTC resources which are particularly useful to support research projects that are either serial by nature, or embarrassingly parallel, i.e. they can be easily broken down into smaller, independent sub-problems that can be solved in shorter timeframe.
The current HTC facility is set up by utilizing the 200+ communal PCs in the Chi Wah Learning Commons and those in classrooms KB110 and CPD3.41. However, this facility is constrained by the unavailability of the communal PCs during office hours and computational jobs relying on HTC to run will only be able to start after the closure of the Chi Wah Learning Commons and the two mentioned classrooms. Thus, users will not be able to test or debug their jobs at their pace.
To improve the current situation, a new powerful HTCondor backend server (HTCondor is developed at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and widely used in HTC) has been set up. This new server comprises of virtual machines running Windows and HTCondor to support 24-hour computation. All HTC accounts have been migrated to run on this new server through which users can now enjoy the round-the-clock HTC resources availability to support their research projects.
To optimize the utilization of this new facility and to extend its usability, we are testing various application software items to enrich the pool of software available to support HTCondor jobs. Users are also welcome to suggest software items that they wish to use for our testing. A software list supporting HTCondor jobs will be consolidated and released later after testing.
In case you have any questions about the HTC or other HPC facilties, please contact undersigned or email to GROUP-ITS-HPC@hku.hk.
High Performance Computing Team
Tel: 3917 5185