When considering running your jobs on a High Performance Computing cluster it is important to understand that the individual processors on the clusters are not generally faster than the CPUs on your desktop. This means that some users will get no real benefit for the effort of using a HPC cluster. Where clusters shine is in the number of jobs that can be run at the same time, the ability to run multi-core jobs (up to 128 cores), the amount of memory available on the compute nodes and the ability to run jobs for a long time.
You should ask yourself if any of the following apply to you. If so then you should seriously consider using a HPC cluster.
- Do your jobs take more memory than is available on your desktop?
- Do you have a large number (>1 a week) of jobs to run?
- Can your jobs be split into smaller chunks?
- Would your jobs benefit by being able to run sections of code in parallel?
If the answer to all of these questions is no then HPC is probably not for you at this time. You should continue running your jobs in the same way you currently do and return when your circumstances change.
If you answered yes to any of these questions or if you just want further information then send an email to the IT Service Centre saying that you are interested in High Performance Computing and someone from the HPC team will get back to you.