[Beowulf] Definition of HPC
Ellis H. Wilson III
ellis at cse.psu.edu
Thu Apr 18 09:36:57 PDT 2013
On 04/18/2013 12:21 PM, Nicholas M Glykos wrote:
> In the same way you wouldn't allow a general
> user to override the safety interlocks of an X-ray generator, you
> shouldn't allow root access to the general users of a shared computing
Please describe what the grad student who pioneers new tech for X-ray
generators should do, particularly if they are trying to develop new
There is an appreciable community of graduate students and other types
of researchers who are completely screwed by this limited vantage point.
This is why I consider even admins at universities "IT professionals."
Not because I want to piss them off when often they have grad degrees
themselves, but because they are so "business-focused" and unwilling to
accommodate the strange and often atypical requests that research
demands that they are more comfortable with a given cluster sitting
totally idle than letting a researcher use and learn from it, possibly
at the risk of breaking it.
There needs to be, at the very least, a testbed in universities where
students can receive and be able to use root on a limited set of
machines. Obviously I don't expect to be granted root on PSU's
CyberStar cluster, which many other scientists at the university use for
their own research, but I don't appreciate being marginalized just
because I don't fall into this terribly limited viewpoint on what
researchers can and cannot do.
This is exactly why I have to spend my own money (which is naturally
limited as a grad student, and to the dismay of my wife) to run my own
cluster and build my own storage at home, so I can do research without
constantly having day or more delays in trying to flush a cache or do
something similarly simple but requiring of root.
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