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Subject: Re: [OMPI users] EXTERNAL: Re: How to set up state-less node /tmp for OpenMPI usage
From: Jeff Squyres (jsquyres_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-11-03 14:14:15

On Nov 3, 2011, at 1:36 PM, Blosch, Edwin L wrote:

> Yes it sucks, so that's what led me to post my original question: If /dev/shm isn't the right place to put the session file, and /tmp is NFS-mounted, then what IS the "right" way to set up a diskless cluster? I don't think the idea of tempfs sounds very appealing, after reading the discussion in FAQ #8 about shared-memory usage. We definitely have a job-queueing system and jobs are very often killed using qdel, and writing a post-script handler is way beyond the level of involvement or expertise we can expect from our sys admins.

In the upcoming OMPI v1.7, we revamped the shared memory setup code such that it'll actually use /dev/shm properly, or use some other mechanism other than a mmap file backed in a real filesystem. So the issue goes away. But it doesn't help you yet. :-\

> Surely there's some reasonable guidance that can be offered to work around an issue that is so disabling.

Other than the shared memory file, the session directory shouldn't be large. So keeping it in a tmpfs should be ok. It's just that putting the shared memory in a tmpfs has the potential to cost you "twice": the actual shared memory itself, and then taking up space in tmpfs (although I have not verified this myself -- perhaps Linux is smart enough to not do this?).

Are there *no* local disk on the machines at all?

> A related question would be: How is it that HP-MPI works just fine on this cluster as it is configured now? Are they doing something different for shared memory communications?

They're probably either not warning you about the issue or not using mmaped files that are backed in a filesystem (warning you about the issue is actually a relatively new feature in OMPI, IIRC -- since 1.0, IIRC, OMPI has used mmap files in a filesystem).

Jeff Squyres
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