Planning for the use of Flux is a different process than planning for the purchase and installation of computers. The planning and the budgeting process both need to reflect the differences between the Flux approach and the traditional purchase of equipment.
Typically hardware is a one-time (or few-time) purchase that is in a fixed configuration for its normal lifetime (five years for hardware supported by CAEN). Flux allocations can be more flexible, and thus can be harder to describe in a budget.
A traditional cluster is typically budgeted for by either multiplying the current cost of a compute node by the number of nodes requested or dividing the current cost of a compute node into a fixed budget to determine the number of nodes that can be purchased.
The Flux Cluster
While people may consider a node to be the atomic unit of a cluster, the atomic unit of Flux time is a core-month (1 core allocated for 1 month). Unlike compute nodes, Flux allows the addition or removal of core-months at any time. The expenditure of a budget when using Flux can be more fine-grained than when purchasing a cluster.
How to Plan for Using Flux
There are two approaches to planning for your use of Flux:
- Size - Determine the amount of Flux resources your research will need and create a budget to meet that demand. See Flux Sizing for guidance to help you estimate your needs
- Cost - Determine how much Flux time and cores you can afford on a given budget. See Flux Costing to get help with planning your costs.
Once you understand the size and cost of the allocation you need, the steps at Managing A Flux Project will help you get started using Flux.
If you have questions, please send email to email@example.com.