Using Open OnDemand to Access Penn State ICS-ACI High-Performance Computing Resources

Using Open OnDemand to Access Penn State ICS-ACI High-Performance Computing Resources


Many researchers would to take advantage of
the power of supercomputers, but don’t feel comfortable using the very technical command
line interface that’s typical of many complex, high performance computing systems. Open OnDemand lets you utilize Penn State’s
high performance computing resources in a graphical, menu-based environment that looks
and feels like the desktop or web-based applications you’re used to. In this video, we’ll cover:
• Accessing and logging on to Open OnDemand • …and we’ll give a quick overview of
all of the things you can do in Open OnDemand. • Finally, we’ll walk through a simple
job submission to give you an idea of one common workflow. Open OnDemand is accessed through your web
browser, so there’s nothing to download or install. Simply go to this web address: PORTAL.ACI.ICS.PSU.EDU If you’re not currently logged in, you’ll
be prompted to complete this 2-factor authentication step. Here’s what the Open OnDemand interface
will look like. Much of the Open OnDemand homepage is devoted
to general information and occasional alerts about system health and usage, but let’s
focus on this menu at the top of the page. FILES is where you can access and manage all
of the files you have stored on the ACI system. JOBS opens a dashboard for creating and monitoring
the status of all of your jobs. Interactive Apps lets you run interactive
jobs in a GUI environment very similar to the desktop version of several popular programs,
like MATLAB and COMSOL. You can use USER TOOLS to monitor your storage
quotas including home, work, and scratch storage. This is also where those users with paid system
allocations can keep tabs on their usage of the system. As you can see, many users can utilize the
Open OnDemand interface to complete all of their work on the ICS-ACI system without ever
having to deal with an ssh terminal. Now let’s walk through a simple example
of how you might use Open OnDemand. Suppose you wanted to run an analysis in MATLAB. In Interactive Apps, choose MATLAB. From here, you can specify the resources you’ll
need for your job, including the software version you want to use, and the number of
hours required for your job. A number of factors can influence how quickly
your job will start. But if you’d like to work on other things
while you wait, you can check this box to receive an email notification when your job
is running. Then click Launch. This screen will change as the job is queued,
then starting, and when it’s running, click here to launch the application. You’ll be able to work with the MATLAB GUI
just as you do on your desktop. Now let’s take a look at how you launch
a Jupyter Notebook with Open OnDemand. From Interactive Apps, choose Jupyter Notebook. Select the resources you’ll need for your
job. For this example, we’ll select a single
hour job to run on two cores. Then click Launch. When the job is running, click Connect to
Jupyter Notebook Server. This opens a new tab giving you access to
all of your ACI files with the Jupyter environment. You can use this interface just like any other
Jupyter environment. For instance, you can create a new Jupyter
notebook by choosing New>Python. Note that some types of sessions provide a
shareable link to allow anybody with the link to view your session from any computer. When you’re finished, you can delete the
job by licking the Delete button. Let’s recap. Open OnDemand offers a simple, graphical interface
to access ICS-ACI resources. You can:
• …access and manage your stored files, • …monitor your allocation usage and storage
quotas, • …and, of course, run jobs using a simple
graphical user interface.

One thought to “Using Open OnDemand to Access Penn State ICS-ACI High-Performance Computing Resources”

  1. The volume needs to be turned up: I have it at the highest level on my Mac as well as on Youtube and I had to turn on close-captioning to figure out what was being said. Thanks.

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