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Condor (software to easily run your programs in dozens of machines at a time) at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

Ángel de Vicente (IAC)

Do you need more computing power ? Do you have hundreds of simulations to run, and just running them in your computer is going to take weeks or months ? Then Condor might help you to reduce drastically the amount of time needed to perform those simulations ! At every institution there are many workstations that sit idle for long periods of time (typically for twelve or more hours per day). Condor takes this wasted computation time and puts it to good use : you can use Condor’s opportunistic behavior to scavenge cycles from desktop machines when their users are not using the machines (for example, in the evening or during lunch). This processing time is available at no extra cost under Condor.

In this talk I will show you how Condor works and I will share with you our experience with it at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). Condor was installed at the IAC more than five years ago and in this time it has become a basic part of our supercomputing infrastructure. From its humble beginning in test mode with just a few CPUs, it now incorporates next to 500 CPUs, and during 2009 more than 1.000.000 CPU hours have been "scavenged". Condor allows us to make use of all this processing time that otherwise would have been wasted, and it helps us to free up our HPC clusters in order to dedicate them to communication-intensive applications.