What is Beocat?
Beocat is the HPC cluster at Kansas State University. It is run by the Computing and Information Science department. Beocat is available to any educational researcher in the state of Kansas (and his or her collaborators) without cost. Priority access is given to those researchers who have contributed resources.
Beocat is actually comprised of several different cluster computing systems
- "Beocat", as used by most people is a Beowulf cluster of Linux servers coordinated by the SGE job submission and scheduling system. Our Compute Nodes (hardware) and installed software have separate pages on this wiki. The current status of this cluster can be monitored by visiting http://ganglia.beocat.cis.ksu.edu/.
- A comparatively small Hadoop cluster
- A small Openstack cloud-computing infrastructure
How Do I Use Beocat?
First, you need to get an account by visiting https://account.beocat.cis.ksu.edu/ and filling out the form. In most cases approval for the account will be granted in less than one business day, and sometimes much sooner. When your account has been approved, you will be added to our LISTSERV, where we announce any changes, maintenance periods, or other issues.
Once you have an account, you can access Beocat via SSH and can transfer files in or out via SCP or SFTP (or Globus Connect using the endpoint beocat#cis-ksu-edu). If you don't know what those are, please see our LinuxBasics page. If you are familiar with these, connect your client to beocat.cis.ksu.edu and use your K-State eID credentials to login.
As mentioned above, we use SGE for job submission and scheduling. If you've never worked with a batch-queueing system before, submitting a job is different than running on a standalone Linux machine. Please see our SGEBasics page for an introduction on how to submit your first job. If you are already familiar with SGE, we also have an AdvancedSGE page where we can adjust the fine-tuning. If you're new to HPC, we highly recommend the Supercomputing in Plain English (SiPE) series by OU. In particular, the older course's streaming videos are an excellent resource, even if you do not complete the exercises.
Writing and Installing Software on Beocat
- If you are writing software for Beocat and it is in an installed scripting language like R, Perl, or Python, please look at our Installed software page to see what we have available and any usage guidelines we have posted there.
- If you need to write compiled code such as Fortran, C, or C++, we offer both GNU and Intel compilers. See our FAQ for more details.
- In either case, we suggest you head to our Tips and Tricks page for helpful hints.
- If you wish to install software in your home directory, we have a video showing how to do this.
How do I get help?
You're in our support Wiki now, and that's a great place to start! We highly suggest that before you send us email, you visit our FAQ. If you're just getting started our Training Videos might be useful to you.
If your answer isn't there, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send all email to this address and not to any of our staff directly. This will ensure your support request gets entered into our tracker, and will get your questions answered as quickly as possible. Please keep the subject line as descriptive as possible and include any pertinent details to your problem (i.e. job ids, commands run, working directory, program versions,.. etc). If the problem is occurring on a headnode, please be sure to include the name of the headnode. This can be found by running the hostname command.
We are also available on IRC on the freenode chat servers in the channel #beocat. This is useful especially if you have a quick question, as you'd be surprised the times when at least one of us is around. If you do have a question be sure to mention m0zes and/or kylehutson in your message, and it should grab our attention. Available from a web browser here.
How do I get priority access
We're glad you asked! Contact Dr. Dan Andresen to find out how contributions to Beocat will prioritize your access to Beocat.
You can find our policies here