Kale Cluster


Kale cluster has 864 processor cores (ie. 68 Xeon E5-2680v3 and 4 Xeon E7-4830v3 processors), and 2 nVidia Tesla K80 GPU cards. The node with E7-4830v3 processors has 1.5TB of memory.

Account allocation

Accounts are allocated to research scientists on a group-by basis.

To apply for an group account, the group leader should contact Antti Kuronen. After the initial application has been accepted, the group leader can add new users to the group at https://idm.helsinki.fi/ .

The group leader has the responsibility to ensure that the cluster users in the group are aware of the rules of usage (see below), and that they know enough of the use of Unix systems to be able to follow the rules.

Advice on usage

Basic usage instruction are at the University Wiki at https://wiki.helsinki.fi/display/it4sci/Kale+User+Guide .

Rules of usage for the alcyone computer cluster

The cluster is intended for the use of personnel of the University of Helsinki.

The cluster is administered by Administrators appointed by the Heads of the Departments and the IT4Science group of IT Center.

Allowed use is research and education utilizing efficient simulation and numerical codes. Any large-scale simulations should be run with compiled software, that is, extensive runs using interpreting programs such as Matlab, Mathematica etc. or script languages such as awk and perl are not allowed unless an explicit exception is granted by one of the Administrators. Running password cracking, cryptography, virtual currency mining, and “seti@home”-kinds of programs on University clusters is naturally strictly prohibited.

Research use accounts are given on a group-by basis. To open a group research account, the group leader should fill in the initial application form, and send it to the Account Administrator. After the initial application has been accepted, new users can be added to the group by a simple e-mail request from the group leader.

Educational accounts might be allocated for the lecturer of a computational courses requiring parallel computing resources for the period of the course, according to a separate agreement with one of the Administrators. The lecturer bears the responsibility that the use of the educational accounts is limited to proper course use, and for guiding the course students into proper use of the cluster.

As of now, there are no pre-defined limits for usage. Groups are expected to use the machine in a gentlemanly manner, not attempting to hoard as much computer capacity for themselves as possible at the expense of other groups. All CPU use of each group is logged, and if a single group has used what seems like an obviously unreasonable share of the cluster for a long period of time, the Adminstrators have the right to ask them to limit their use in the future. If after several warnings the group still uses unreasonable amounts of capacity, the group accounts can be closed for a fixed period of time.

The use of the machine should take into account hardware limitations such as memory and hard drive space limitations. Hard disk space for public use is allocated on the /home, /scratch, and /tmp disks. Each user should keep their disk space usage to a reasonable minimum, and clean out stuff they no longer need. All long jobs should put their output to the /tmp disks, which are not backuped, and are not intended for long-term storage. Old files from the /tmp disks may be removed without prior warning to the user.

The cluster is intended for serial jobs and parallel runs using up to few computing nodes. Detailed information of the parallel environment will be given separately. Running embarrasingly trivial parallel jobs using scripts is allowed within the limits set by the batch queue system on the number of jobs.

The group leader has the responsibility to ensure that the users in the group are aware of these rules, and that they know enough of the use of Unix systems to be able to follow these rules.

Any cluster user is allowed and indeed encouraged to report clear violations of these rules to the Administrators.

In case of clear violations of these rules, whether intentional or due to negligence or poor understading of the system, the Administrators can issue formal warnings to the group leader or course lecturer. If after two warnings the group still does not comply with the rules, the group account on the cluster will be closed for a fixed amount of time, or permanently.

Naturally you should also follow the `University of Helsinki general rules of computer usage `<https://www.helsinki.fi/en/it/information-security/terms-of-use-and-privacy-policy-of-it-services/acceptable-use-policy-for-university-of-helsinki>`_.

Persons in charge

Administrators of the cluster are:
  • IT4Science, Tomas Lindén
  • Antti Kuronen (user accounts)

Email addresses of the administrators are of the form firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi with diacritics removed. However, note that in technical matters it is best to sent the message to the mailing list kale-admin[at]helsinki.fi.

Latest update: 8 Nov 2017, P. Metsä