Solving HPC Conflicts with Containers


Countless stories, comics, and television shows have driven home two very unpleasant stereotypes: the angry, unhelpful system administrator who can’t wait to say “no!” to a user request, and the clueless, clumsy user always a keystroke away from taking down the entire infrastructure. There is a kernel of truth to them. While both resource providers and resource users may want the same end result — the successful completion of computational tasks — they have conflicting priorities when it comes to achieving it.

System operators are tasked with keeping the resource available and performing for all users. This includes ensuring and enforcing proper resource allocation. It also means that any changes to the system have to be thoroughly vetted to ensure that they do not negatively impact the availability and performance of the resource. 

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