[GE users] Optimal queue configuration?

Boone J. Severson severson at cray.com
Mon Feb 7 17:54:07 GMT 2005

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I'm looking for some feedback on queue structure for our 37 dual Opteron 
grid. We currently have an interactive and a batch queue on each 
machine, each queue having 3 slots.

The problem we've been running into is that while all of the people who 
can qsub their jobs mostly are (a good thing in my book), there's a few 
"heavyweight" interactive applications that use X GUIs. These GUIs are 
not processor intensive when you're just viewing results or configuring 
a run script, but once you instruct the tool to do its thing it might 
use 100% of a single processor for an hour to 3 days.

Users of these tools complain (rightly?) that when they launch the 
application they're expecting to get a processor but because they might 
not become processor intensive for some period of time, a new batch job 
or 2 will be assigned to that machine causing them to share.

Are SGE users using machines configured like ours, or do you tend to put 
1 queue per machine, dedicating some machines to interactive and some to 
batch? I've got it in my head that the ideal solution involves creating 
interactive queues labeled lightweight and heavyweight, and batch queues 
labeled short-running and long-running. Heavyweight or short-running 
jobs would get the highest priority, so only 1 heavyweight or short-run 
queue would exist on a group of machines, but a lightweight interactive 
and a long-running batch queue would exist per machine on the other 
sub-group. My only hesitation with this formula is that everyone would 
label their batch job as short-running and their interactive jobs as 
heavyweight, thus defeating the entire purpose. Or, even worse, bringing 
up a heavyweight interactive application and minimizing it for days on end.

I'd love to hear about grid configurations that have worked well at 
other sites.


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