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How do I configure BeeGFS on demand?

BeeOND (“BeeGFS OnDemand”, pronounced like the word “beyond”) was developed to enable easy creation of one or multiple BeeGFS instances on the fly. Nowadays in most HPC cluster systems compute nodes are equipped with internal hard disks or SSDs, which could deliver an additional performance advantage. The problem with the internal drives in compute nodes is that they provide neither the advantage of a single name space across multiple machines nor the flexibility and performance of a shared parallel file system. BeeOND solves this problem by creating a shared parallel filesystem on a “per-job basis” across all compute nodes that are part of the particular compute job, exactly for the runtime of the job.

To configure BeeOND on a Bright cluster you need to enable the beegfs repo for your distribution in the software images you are using. In the following example we are using the default-image in a RHEL7 distribution.

cd /cm/images/default-image/etc/yum.repos.d

wget https://www.beegfs.io/release/latest-stable/dists/beegfs-rhel7.repo

Then you need to install the beeondpackage and reboot the affected compute nodes.

yum install beeond --installroot=/cm/images/default-image

For users with sudo permissions

If an HPC users has permissions to run sudo, they can create and delete the filesystem themselves in their job. An example of a slurm workload manager job follows:

#SBATCH --nodes=3
module load shared
module load slurm
# create the nodelist by asking slurm what nodes are allocated to
# this job
scontrol show hostnames $SLURM_JOB_NODELIST > nodefile-$SLURM_JOB_ID
# create the filesystem by using the allocated jobs
sudo beeond start -n nodefile-$SLURM_JOB_ID -d /tmp -c /mnt/$SLURM_JOB_ID
# copy the work files into the beeond FS
beeond-cp copy -n nodefile-$SLURM_JOB_ID /home/sbrennan/dataset1 /mnt/$SLURM_JOB_ID
# the actual job lives here
sleep 60
# tear down the filesystem at the end
sudo beeond stop -n nodefile-$SLURM_JOB_ID -L -d

This approach has a couple of disadvantages, namely:

Users need to be able to use sudo

If a job returns before to run beeond stop, the temporary filesystem will be not removed

Using workload manager’s hooks

A better approach would be to rely on the workload manager’s hooks to setup and tear down the temporary filesystem for the jobs. This allows users to get this functionality without having to modify their jobs. They also won’t need to use sudo.

Slurm for example provides pre and post job hooks that we can use to automatically setup and tear down beeond. To do this we need to:

Create a few scripts that allow multiple hooks to run one after the other
Create the beeond hooks
Modify the slurm configuration in order to use them

We first need to provide a generic prolog for slurmd. This will run on the head node before every job.

[root@master ~] cat >/cm/local/apps/slurm/var/prolog-slurmctld <<EOF
# execute previous prejob
# execute our own prologs
for script in ${PREJOBS_DIR}/*; do
   if [ -x "${script}" ]; then
   source "${script}"
[root@master ~] chmod +x /cm/local/apps/slurm/var/prolog-slurmctld

We then do the same for a generic epilog:

[root@master ~] cat >/cm/local/apps/slurm/var/epilog-slurmctld <<EOF
# execute our own epilogs
for script in ${EPILOGS_DIR}/*; do
    if [ -x "${script}" ]; then
       source "${script}"
[root@master ~] chmod +x /cm/local/apps/slurm/var/epilog-slurmctld

Next step is to then create the specific scripts for beeond. The prolog:

[root@master ~] mkdir -p /cm/local/apps/slurm/var/ctld-prologs
[root@master ~] cat >/cm/local/apps/slurm/var/ctld-prologs/beeond.sh <<EOF
# slurm strips out PATH during hooks execution
export PATH=$PATH:/bin:/cm/shared/apps/slurm/current/bin
# setup beeond
mkdir -p $(dirname ${NODEFILE})
scontrol show hostnames "${SLURM_JOB_NODELIST}" > "${NODEFILE}"
beeond start -n "${NODEFILE}" -d "${JOBS_DATA_DIR}" -c "${CLIENT_MNT}"
[root@master ~] chmod +x /cm/local/apps/slurm/var/ctld-prologs/beeond.sh

And the epilog:

[root@master ~] mkdir -p /cm/local/apps/slurm/var/ctld-epilogs
[root@master ~] cat >/cm/local/apps/slurm/var/ctld-epilogs/beeond.sh <<EOF
# slurm strips out PATH during hooks execution
export PATH=$PATH:/bin:/cm/shared/apps/slurm/current/bin
# tear down beeond
beeond stop -n "${NODEFILE}" -L -d
rm -f "${NODEFILE}"
[root@master ~] chmod +x /cm/local/apps/slurm/var/ctld-epilogs/beeond.sh

The next step is to change the slurm configuration, in order to useroot as user for slurmd. To do that set SlurmdUser=root in /etc/slurm/slurm.conf.

Then you have to change the epilog in slurm.conf:


To change the prolog instead, you have to change the parameter through cmsh:

[cluster1]% device use master

[cluster1->device[cluster1]]% roles

[cluster1->device[cluster1]->roles]% use slurmserver

[cluster1->device[cluster1]->roles[slurmserver]]% set prologslurmctldprogram /cm/local/apps/cmd/scripts/prolog-slurmctld

[cluster1->device[cluster1]->roles[slurmserver]]% commit

Now for every job you would have a temporary scratch space automatically setup. An example of job that takes advantage of that would be:

[mike@cluster1 ~]$ cat example.job
#SBATCH --ntasks=2
echo copy some stuff
dd if=/dev/zero of=data bs=4k count=1k
beeond-cp copy -n "${NODEFILE}" data "${CLIENT_MNT}"
echo read it back
ls -lah "${CLIENT_MNT}/data"
echo done

Updated on June 19, 2020

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