HPC Q & A

Q: What is HPC and what does it do?

A: Here is a brief description of ISU's HPC resource and service. Introduction to concepts in HPC programming can be found here.

Q: Who can request for HPC account and how do I get it?

A: Faculty and staff can directly apply for HPC account. Students who wish to use HPC for course work and research need faculty support to apply for accounts. Here is the link to the account request form. In addition, This video shows you how to apply for an account.

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Q: What software do I need to connect to HPC?

A: For Linux, Unix or Mac users, you can use secure shell client (ssh) to connect to HPC from terminal. It is usually already installed on your system.

For Windows users, you may download and install PuTTY or cygwin. Here is a video that shows you how to download and install PuTTY.

Optionally, you may also want to install Xming, which is a free X window forwarding program for the  Windows system. With Xming, you can remotely control an application window (e.g. emacs, matlab on HPC, because the application window is forwarded to your local Windows desktop. Here is the Xming download link.

Q: How do I connect to HPC from windows system?

A: Here is a tutorial on how to use PuTTY to connect to HPC, and this tutorial video shows you how to launch Xming with Putty to enable X window forwarding.

Q: How do I run my work on HPC?

A: You need to submit your work as a "job" to the SGE (Sun grid engine) system. SGE manages resources on HPC. Your job(s) will be dispatched once the resource requested is available.

Q: I am new to Linux and HPC. Can you provide some tutorial?

A: This is a very good link for Linux/Unix beginners. We highly recommend it for new Linux users. The online manual is also very helpful to learn Linux commands.

If you are not familiar with the concept of high performance computing and parallel computing, this is an excellent tutorial for beginners.

In addition, here are some links that may help you on advanced Linux features and parallel programming.

Q: Can I contact you if I have more questions and problems?

A: Yes, we provide programming and system support for HPC on campus. You may call us at 2678 for programming support or 8361 for system support, or email us for troubleshooting. You are also welcome to visit our office at Normal Hall 301. Customized tutorial session can be arranged by appointment.