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Inside a NASA Production Supercomputing Center

It takes a super workload management tool to power grid, cluster and on-demand computing environments for computational modeling and simulation applications at NASA. When providing supercomputing resources to 1,500 users, 24/7, workload management is a top priority. Originally developed at NAS in the 1990s and then commercialized, PBS Professional® workload management software has been used since its inception. Commercially developed by Altair Engineering, Inc., Troy, Mich., the PBS platform is designed to power grid, cluster and on-demand computing environments. PBS Professional is used to manage all HEC resources at NAS, including Pleiades.

PBS Professional is a resource allocation tool that makes it possible to create intelligent policies to manage distributed, mixed-vendor computing assets as a single, unified system. Based on a policy-driven architecture, it continually optimizes how technical HEC resources are used, ensuring that they are used effectively and efficiently. Simply put, the software looks at the jobs that want to run, looks at the resources available for them to run on and makes the best match based on a number of criteria. “Those criteria can include the user that’s running and how many jobs that user currently has running, or how many cores his job is currently using. It can also be the queue that a user submits their job in, and those queues can have things limiting them, like how many jobs are running or how many cores all of the jobs together are using. It also can be the mission directorate those users are in,” explains Thigpen.

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Altair Engineering, Inc., empowers client innovation and decision-making through technology that optimizes the analysis, management and visualization of business and engineering information. Privately held, with more than 1,500 employees, Altair has offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. With a 26-year track record for high-end software and consulting services for engineering, computing and enterprise analytics, Altair consistently delivers a competitive advantage to customers in a broad range of industries. To learn more about Altair, please visit www.altair.com.

Contact us to learn how Altair can benefit your HPC environment.