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SciLens cluster

The SciLens cluster has been acquired to provide a sizable and flexible experimentation platform for the Database Architectures group at CWI. Access is granted to members of the DA group.

SciLens policy

In case you are cooperating with non-DA-members that are (temporarily) granted access to our SciLens cluster (there are no non-DA people that have access to our SciLens cluster without cooperation with us!), please make sure to (1) inform them about our usage (reporting/claiming) policies (see above) and (2) introduce them and their work to the group

If you plan to use machines in our SciLens cluster please make sure you report your usage (plans) and claim machines the usual way via the webpages below. Do not hesitate to ask, in case you have any questions!

Scilens backup

The data on the SciLens machines is not backed-up by ITF. To ensure a continual use of your data, you either have to find a backup storage place within the cluster, your desktop, external, or be able to re-generate your settings. In case of doubt or advice where and how to make your backup, contact Arjen.

SciLens login

Logging into the cluster is regulated through scilens-ssh ! For this you have to contact Arjen de Rijke.

Thereafter you can ssh to the scilense-ssh portal machine:

ssh -i ~USER/.ssh/id_rsa_scilens_USER

and subsequently move to the specific machine you desire to use, e.g.

ssh bricks09

You land on the home directory created for you on this machine. It has a small disk mounted and should not be used with the expection of environment resource scripts and configuration files. The disk is small and shared with all users and deleted during a re-install.

For most practical cases, you should make yourself a directory in /scratch or /data where there should be ample of disk space.

SciLens data transport

The easiest way to import small files into the machine selected is to perform a scp from your desktop. This requires the ssh configuration file for the scilens-ssh machine on your deskop to be set to work as a forwarding device.

For example, .../.ssh/config looks like:


       User USER

Copying files within the cluster is straightforward using the scp command identifying the machine and directory locations involved, e.g. while on bricks09 you can move the file data to bricks10

scp data bricks10/scratch/USER

You can also use the rsync command to clone your environment easily on multiple machines. It requires a .rsync file in your homedirectory with directives. Create a rsync daemon configurationfile in your /scratch/USER directory containing:

port = 2873 use chroot = no

[scratch] path = /scratch/USER

The port number is free to choose above 1000, otherwise conflicts with others users might occur. Let's assume again you are on brick09 and you want a synchronized copy on bricks10. On bricks09 create the above configuration file and start the rsync daemon with the command:

rsync --daemon --config=/scratch/USER/rsyncd.conf

Then login onto bricks10 in your /scratch/USER directory execute the command:

rsync -aH bricks09:/scratch/* /scratch/USER/

For further details see the rsync manual or contact the expert. After the rsync is complete you should terminate the rsync daemon on bricks09.

Returning small files from the SciLens machine to your desktop can be performed using scp. For big ones contact the expert. Importing large amounts of data into the cluster, contact the expert.

Accessing the internet

You can use wget to access any web-source from within the cluster.

You have to contact the expert if you want to run a web-client/server setup on the machine. For this you need a ssh-tunnel setup.

Root specific features

Some tools have been added to make your life easier wrt performance analyse. They have to be called with the sudo command, example

sudo iotop ...

Pre-installed user requested packages

External software that requires root permissions can only be installed from source in your local environment. For example, postgresql, mysql and friends.

Non-installed libraries available within the Fedora distributions can be enabled by contacting the expert.

Specific application frameworks, e.g. java, can be installed from the Fedora repository, but due to versioning issues we advice to use a local copy as much as possible. When in doubt follow the expert route.

SciLens cluster

  • Non-standard hardware
    • diamonds
    • stones
    • bricks
    • rocks
    • pebbles

SciLens cluster use