Centre Informatique National de l’Enseignement Supérieur (CINES) Visit 2016

An visit to the Centre Informatique National de l’Enseignement Supérieur (CINES) in Montpellier was taken on Friday 21st of October.

The Centre Informatique National de l’Enseignement Supérieur (CINES) is a peak public research facility in France, based in Montpellier and employing approximately sixty people (engineers, technical, and administrative staff). It was founded originally in 1999 as part of CNUSC (Centre National Universitaire Sud de Calcul), itself created in 1980, and is administrated and funded by Ministry of Higher Education & Research (MESR). CINES is part of the Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (GENCI) which implements the national strategy for equipping the National Tier-1 datacenters in HPC resource (i.e., CCRT (C.E.A.)‫‏‬., IDRIS (C.N.R.S.)‫‏‬., and CINES (M.E.S.R.)

CINES facility

The computer rooms of CINES take up some 1400m^2, with two power lines (ERDF) providing a maximum of 12.5 MW. This infrastructure is used by a world-class supercomputer with several petabytes of storage capacity, and 2 x 10 Gbit national network attachements. The two main systems are Cristal for pre/post processing (13.1 TFLOPS, 224 core plus GPGPUs), and Occigen (2.1 Pflops, 50,554 Intel Haswell, Infiniband, Lustre for scratch and Panasas for home). Occigen is currently being expanded to include another 1260 nodes and 35280 cores with Intel Broadwell.

CINES uses Slurm for workload management. However unlike many other facilities, users do minimal resource allocations. Rather they are required to submit time, nb_nodes or nb_tasks. Usual submission information (e.g., partition) is not set by users but rather by job_submit plugin. Emphasis is orientated towards large (2400-16800 cores), short (0 to
24 hour) jobs. THe system is highly available (98.7% in February 2016) and busy (91.6% utilisation).

The operations and development staff at CINES are currently working on "virtual quotas", an in-house development for automatic management of storage spaces, which checks the usage rate (number of files, volume, age, etc) before making decisions on archiving. This is will be integrated with Slurm; in case of overflow running jobs can complete, new job submissions are rejected.

Special thanks are given to the members of the various European facilities who took their time to accommodate my visit and provide tours of their facilities. This includes (my deepest apologies for names I’ve overlooked!): Gérard Gil, Jean-Christophe Penalva, Johanne Charpentier, and Nicole Audiffren at CINES

Originally posted at: http://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/researchplatforms/2017/02/15/centre-informat...