[GE users] PE config: allocation_rule

aeszter Ansgar.Esztermann at mpi-bpc.mpg.de
Wed Apr 14 09:29:56 BST 2010

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Hello everyone,

I am looking for advice regarding our PEs' allocation_rules. We would like our job to be compact, i.e. use as few nodes as possible. On a previous system running torque, our users would call qsub with something like -l nodes=4:ppn=8, so 32-CPU job would be started on exactly 4 nodes. If such an assignment was not available, the job would remain idle.
This has the disadvantage that users need to know the number of CPU cores per node, but otherwise works fine.

Initially, I thought that $fill_up would be the way to go. However, on a cluster heavily loaded with differently-sized jobs, we observed that jobs tend to get "broader": after a few days, 32 cores might be allocated as 8+6+4+4+3+3+2+1+1 or so.
So we've tried allocation_rule 8 instead. This does work fine for jobs requiring n*8 slots, but smaller ones (say, 4 slots) will not start at all.

Any thoughts?

BTW, is there any way to get a more detailed explanation for qalter -w [pv]'s response "cannot run in PE xxx because it only offers 0 slots"?

Thanks a lot,

Ansgar Esztermann
Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Abteilung 105


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