Expand your knowledge of hardware, software and supercomputing

How do I tune my HPL.dat file?

Tuning HPL can be a long and difficult process.  Once you’ve found the perfect BLAS library for your architecture, now you need to create a perfect HPL.dat file.  Use the form below and generate an output file as a starting point on getting the best GFLOP number you can out of your cluster. Input Nodes: […]

Troubleshooting OpenMPI Invocation Problems

OpenMPI works with a large number of transport mechanisms, from shared memory on the local machine, to IP over Ethernet or even RDMA over InfiniBand. With default settings, when you start your program using mpirun, OpenMPI will choose the best interface available.. Unfortunately, the logic isn’t foolproof, and sometimes you will hit snags and your […]

Standard Cluster – InfiniBand Fabric

This is the InfiniBand configuration for most of the HPC clusters we build.

How do I rack a .5U blade or a 2U Flex Chassis?

1U blade or 2U Flex Chassis installation & removal PLEASE NOTE: The pictorial illustrations in this FAQ show a 2U Flex chassis, however the same procedures are applicable to the 1U blade except for the fact that the 1U chassis is 1U shorter in height, uses a different size rear mounting bracket, and has fewer […]

Re-imaging a compute node back to a working state

If you accidentally misconfigure software on a cluster compute node you can always revert it back to a working image. In order to prepare a node for imaging you first set it to boot into the cloner3 image the next time it powers on: $ act_netboot -n <node name> -set=cloner3 Next you simply reboot the machine […]

Use act_locate to identify a node

Most Advanced Clustering chassis are equipped with a large locater LED on the front that can be used to easily identify a node when it’s turned on. If you’re remotely attempting to notify a technician as to which compute node needs work, you can simply run the following command from your head node: $ act_locate […]

Diagnose hardware issues with Advanced Clustering’s Breakin

If you suspect hardware problems, our clusters come with a testing facility that can test one or more nodes. Using Advanced Clustering’s Breakin software can help you look for and diagnose potential hardware issues. This software is a stress-test suite developed in-house since there were no other tools available that provided this level of rigorous […]

Checking InfiniBand

If one of your machines has an InfiniBand device installed and you want to know what state the device is in, you can use the “ibstat” command. The output of “ibstat” shows a lot of information, but the two main lines you should look at are: State: Active Physical state: LinkUp The “State” line can […]

Using grep to filter results

The command line utility “grep” is one of the most powerful and useful tools in Linux. Its most common use is to filter results from everyday commands. For instance, if you want to see all the hostnames your system has mapped out in /etc/hosts you can simply run: $ cat /etc/hosts But if you know […]

Use the command line to easily find hard drive manufacturer information

If you ever need to get your hard drive’s model and serial number without physically looking at it, you can do so with the hdparm command line utility. This is especially useful if a manufacturer requires the serial number for an RMA or any other servicing needs. In this example, we are retrieving the model […]

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