Planning a Flux Allocation
If you are unsure of the Flux allocation size for your project, we recommend you start with an initial 4-8 core allocation for the first month. This will give you time to determine your work-flow and validate your software on Flux. Flux Sizing has more information on how to size an allocation.
Establishing a Flux User Account
To request a Flux user account, complete this form. Faculty, please fill in your name in both the requestor and advisor fields. Students, specify the name of your advisor or other associated faculty member in the advisor fields.
Creating a Flux Allocation
A Flux allocation is described in How Flux Works. We will create a Flux project for you the first time you request an allocation. The default name of the project will follow this format: uniqname _flux. If you have multiple projects, we will add a number after the uniqname (e.g., powell1_flux).
Most Flux allocations are created within one business day. To create a Flux allocation, please send email to email@example.com with the following information:
- the number of cores needed
- the start date and number of months for the allocation
- the shortcode for the funding source
- the list of people who should have access to the allocation
- the list of people who can change the user list and augment or end the allocations
Using a Flux Allocation
Flux is used via a batch system called PBS. The Flux-specific additions and changes to the examples at that URL are the queue, the account, and the qos. In a PBS script these should look like:
#PBS -A example_flux
#PBS -l qos=example_flux
#PBS -q flux
For more information on using Flux, including information on training, application-specific information and more, visit cac.engin.umich.edu/started.
When you submit compute jobs to Flux, the job scheduler will fit them into your allocation. When your allocation is full, or your next job is too large to fit into the remaining room in the allocation, the job will be queued and executed as soon as the resources are available.
If you request special features such as large amounts of memory, processors in a specific physical configuration, GPUs, etc. your job may be queued while the scheduler waits for those resources to become free.
During times of high system utilization jobs may remain in the queue before starting even though your allocation may not be full.
Questions and other support requests from the College of Engineering, Medical School, and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts may be referred to staff located in those units.
Monitoring a Flux Allocation in Real Time
To monitor your allocations in real time, go to the Flux login hosts and type the command:
showq -w acct=the name of your Flux project
You will see the the jobs currently running, idle and blocked.
- Idle jobs are jobs that could run if resources (cores, memory, software licenses, GPUs, etc.) were available.
- Blocked jobs are jobs that violate some constraint and are not considered for scheduling onto a core. Most typically this is because the jobs would cause you to exceed the number of cores in your allocation.
Monitoring the Historical Use of a Flux Allocation
Historical usage data for Flux allocations is available via MReports to those who are responsible for an allocation. Complete instructions are available at arc.research.umich.edu/check-my-flux-allocation.
Changing the Use of a Flux Allocation
The only change you may make to a Flux allocation is to end it at the next month boundary. However, you may create new allocations and overlap them with an existing allocation.
For example, you have one allocation with 24 cores and their associated RAM that runs from April 14 until October 14. During the summer months, you are able to spend more time on the project and require more cores. Starting on May 3 you add another 48 cores to the same Flux project in a new allocation, which you schedule to end on October 3. You may submit jobs to these 72 cores as though they were in a single allocation.
In July, you decide to take a vacation in August, so you end that allocation on August 3 and do not pay for August, September, or the three days in October. Pictorially, this looks like:
All of these changes are made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or your local Flux support staff.
Paying for a Flux Allocation
Billing is done monthly by Information and Technology Services (ITS) and the billing period runs from the 13th to the 12th of the month. The shortcode you provided when the allocation was requested will be billed. In the example above, the May, June, and July bills will be for 72 cores and the August, September, and October bills will be for 24 cores.
Preparing for the End of a Flux Allocation
Approximately two weeks before the end of an allocation, someone from the Flux operations group will email you a reminder about the end of an allocation to give you the chance to renew the allocation.
If you do not renew your allocation, the Flux user accounts associated with the project will remain active for at least eight months. After eight months without an association to a Flux project with an active allocation, Flux user accounts and the data associated with them are deleted.
If you have questions, please send email to email@example.com.