Updated July 31, 2020
Partitions are logical collections of nodes that comprise different hardware resources and limits to help meet the wide variety of jobs that get scheduled on Discovery. Occasionally, the Research Computing team might need to make updates to the partitions based on monitoring job submissions to help reduce job wait times. As our cluster grows, changes to the partitions also help to ensure the fair, efficient distribution of resources for all jobs being submitted to the cluster.
On Discovery, there are several different partitions:
- General access (
- Application only (
- PI owned (accessed only by members of the PIs’ group)
The general access and application only partitions span the hardware on Discovery, with
multigpu spanning the GPUs on Discovery and the other partitions spanning the CPUs.
For example, if you use the
debug partition you’re using the same hardware as
short, just with different time, job, and core limits. Refer to the tables below for
detailed information on the current partitions. Note that PI-owned partitions only include the hardware that those PIs own and are only accessible to the members of the PI’s group.
In the following table, the Running Jobs Per User/Per Research Group. Core and RAM limits are set per user, across all running jobs (not pending).
|Name||Requires approval?||Time limit (default/max)||Running jobs||Submitted jobs||Core limit (per user)||RAM limit||Use Case|
|debug||No||20 minutes/20 minutes||10/25||5000||128||256GB||Best for serial and parallel jobs that can run under 20 minutes. Good for testing code.|
|express||No||30 minutes/60 minutes||50/250||5000||2048||25TB||Best for serial and parallel jobs that can run under 60 minutes.|
|short||No||4 hours/24 Hours||50/500||5000||1024||25TB||Best for serial or small parallel jobs (
|long||Yes||1 day/5 Days||25/250||1000 per user/5000 per group||1024||25TB||Primarily for serial or parallel jobs that need to run for more than 24 hours. Need to prove that your code cannot be checkpointed to use this partition.|
|large||Yes||6 hours/6 Hours||100/100||1000 per user/5000 per group||N/A||N/A||Primarily for running parallel jobs that can efficiently use more than 2 nodes. Need to demonstrate that your code is optimized for running on more than 2 nodes.|
|Name||Requires approval?||Time limit (default/max)||Running jobs||Submitted jobs||GPU per job limit||GPU per user limit||Use Case|
|gpu||No||4 hours/8 Hours||25/250||50/100||1||8||For jobs that can run on a single GPU processor.|
|multigpu||Yes||4 hours/24 Hours||25/100||50/100||12||12||For jobs that require more than one GPU and take up to 24 hours to run.|
Viewing partition information¶
Slurm commands allow you to view information about the partitions. Three commands that can show you partition information are
scontrol. The following are common options to use with these commands:
sinfo -p <partition name> #displays the state of the nodes on a specific partition sinfo -p <partition name> --Format=time,nodes,cpus,socketcorethread,memory,nodeai,features #displays more detailed information using the Format option, including features like the type of processors sacct --partition <partition name> #displays the jobs that have been run on this partition scontrol show partition <partition name> #displays the Slurm configuration of the partition
For more information about these commands, see the Slurm documentation site https://slurm.schedmd.com/.
Allocating partitions in your jobs¶
To specify a partition when running jobs, use the option
--partition=<partition name> with either
sbatch. When using a partition with your job and
specifying the options of
--ntasks=, make sure that you are requesting options that best fit your job. Requesting the maximum number of nodes or tasks will not make your job run faster or give you higher priority in the job queue. It can actually have
the opposite effect on jobs that are better suited to running with smaller requirements, as you have to wait for the extra resources that your job will not use. See Using Slurm for more information on using Slurm to run jobs.
You should always try to have job requests that will attempt to allocate the best resources for the job you want to run. For example, if you are running a job that is not parallelized, you only need to request one node (
--nodes=1). For some parallel jobs, such as a small MPI job, you can also use one node (
--nodes=1) with the
–-ntasks= option set to correspond to the number of MPI ranks (tasks) in your code. For example, for a job that has 12 MPI ranks, request 1 node and 12 tasks within that node (
--nodes=1 –-ntasks=12). If you request 12 nodes, Slurm is going to run code between those nodes, which could slow your job down significantly if it isn’t optimized to run between nodes.
If your code is optimized to run on more than 2 nodes and needs less than one hour to run, you can use the express partition. If your code needs to run on more than 2 nodes for more than one hour, you should apply to use the large partition. See the section Partition Access Request below for more information.
Partition Access Request¶
If you need access to the large, long, or multigpu partition, you need to submit a ServiceNow ticket. Access is not automatically granted. You will need to provide details and test results that demonstrate your need for access for these partitions. If you need temporary access to multigpu to perform testing before applying for permanent access, you should also submit a ServiceNow ticket. All requests are evaluated by members of the RC team, and multigpu requests are also evaluated by two faculty members.