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Wed 10 Jun 2020
09:30 - 16:00


Provided by: University Information Services - Digital Literacy Skills


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High Performance Computing: An Introduction

Wed 10 Jun 2020


Bookings for this course are placed on hold in response to the rapidly changing events due to COVID-19. The status of these courses will be reviewed towards the end of April 2020. See the University's COVID-19 page for up to date information.

The course aims to give an introductory overview of High Performance Computing (HPC) in general, and of the facilities of the High Performance Computing Service (HPCS) in particular.

Practical examples of using the HPCS clusters will be used throughout, although it is hoped that much of the content will have applicability to systems elsewhere.

Target audience
  • All current Cambridge University members (departments and colleges)
  • Novice users of HPC and anyone who expects to need to use HPC systems at some stage in their research
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available

Number of sessions: 2

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Wed 10 Jun 2020   09:30 - 12:30 09:30 - 12:30 University Information Services, Phoenix Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site map Stuart Rankin
2 Wed 10 Jun 2020   13:30 - 16:00 13:30 - 16:00 University Information Services, Phoenix Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site map Stuart Rankin
Topics covered
  • Basic concepts:
    • serial, parallel and high throughput workload
    • a quick look at the modern computer (vector/multithread/multicore/multisocket CPUs; nonuniform memory)
    • interconnecting nodes (ethernet, Infiniband, proprietary)
    • how to put it together (shared memory, distributed memory, ccNUMA, single system image)
    • coprocessors (GPUs and similar things)
    • cluster storage
    • job scheduling
  • High Performance Computing Service
    • Darwin - an example of an infiniband CPU cluster
    • Wilkes - an example of a dual-rail infiniband GPU cluster
    • Service Levels (free and non-free usage)
    • Help and further information
    • Connecting
    • SSH login
    • File transfer
    • Remote desktop
    • Tunnelling
  • Security
    • Client side
    • Server side
  • User environment
    • Compilers
    • Environment modules
    • Filesystems
  • Software
    • Free
    • Proprietary
  • Job submission
    • Batch scheduler (SLURM)
    • How to submit (HTC, MPI, OpenMP, hybrid)
    • Interactive jobs
    • Array jobs
    • Checkpoint/restart

Presentations and practicals

Taught using

PuTTY MCS Windows or Linux and HPCS Darwin cluster

  • Programming expertise is not required (the focus will be on how to run, rather than on what to run)
  • One full day
Related courses

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