[Beowulf] LSF vs Slurm

Bill Benedetto bbenedetto at goodyear.com
Thu Mar 10 18:54:36 UTC 2022

We were a long-time LSF shop.  I can't remember NOT using LSF and I've
been here 25 years.

We switched to Slurm in the past couple of years.

Our main impetus for switching was license cost, of course.  And we do
a lot of work with a national lab that uses Slurm.  So we figured there
were synergies there that we could take advantage of (and we have).

I would say that LSF was a lot more solid than Slurm.  Although perhaps
that isn't fair.

One of my big gripes with Slurm is that in LSF, typically, there is one
or maybe two ways to configure "something" (pick your setting of
choice). Whereas in Slurm there might be 4 or 5 ways of configuring the
same "something".  Slurm has a lot A LOT of dials to turn.  Which is
great, sort of.  But not all settings play well with all other
settings.  And that often isn't documented anywhere.

We've also managed in Slurm to have pending jobs die when we add or
delete nodes to slurm.conf and restart everything.  We've had this
happen repeatedly. Enough so that we are pretty gun-shy about
adding/deleting nodes. (And, yes, we follow the documented process.)

I realize that there are a lot of companies/universities/labs that use
Slurm and it works great for them and is super solid.  And those places
are probably doing a lot more with Slurm than we are.  Which makes me
suspect that at least part of our trouble is growing pains - not enough
experience with Slurm to know how it all works.  We used LSF a long,
long time and are only about two years into Slurm.

Do I regret switching to Slurm?  Nope.  I'd do it again.  It works
pretty well for us.  The transition just wasn't as smooth as silk.

FWIW, we pay for support and SchedMD is fantastic.  I can't say enough
good things about them.  They are really quick to respond and quite
good about working until there is a resolution of some sort.

- Bill Benedetto

On Thu, 2022-03-10 at 10:39 -0600, Lohit Valleru via Beowulf wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I wanted to ask if there is anyone who could explain me the benefits
> of moving to Slurm from LSF.
> If anyone moved to Slurm, I want to ask on what
> requirements/challengers motivated the move to Slurm, apart from
> license cost with LSF.
> Thank you,
> Lohit
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