Interactive Access to OSCER
Open OnDemand is a web front end for using cluster supercomputers such as OSCER’s Schooner. This software product is under active development by the Ohio Supercomputer Center.
At the University of Oklahoma (OU), the OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research (OSCER) provides a way for our users to run research application software via either interactive access to, or batch use of, OSCER’s cluster supercomputer, Schooner, using the Open OnDemand web front end. (We will continue to offer direct command line login access as well, in perpetuity.)
- Starting OSCER Open OnDemand
- Files Menu
- Jobs Menu
- Clusters Menu
- Interactive Apps
- My Interactive Sessions
- Logging out of Open OnDemand
Before you start using Open OnDemand on OSCER’s cluster supercomputer, Schooner, you will need an OSCER account. In your web browser, go to: http://www.oscer.ou.edu/account_request/
Once you have your OSCER account, to use OSCER’s Open OnDemand website, in your web browser go to: https://ondemand.oscer.ou.edu
You will be asked to provide your OSCER username and password to enter OSCER’s Open OnDemand website.
Once you’ve logged in to Open OnDemand, you will see a header bar across the top of the webpage (called the “Dashboard”), including some pulldown menus, a message on the far right side indicating that you are logged in, and a link to log out.
Click here for instructions on logging out.
When you click on Files in the Dashboard, that will pull down the Files menu, from which you will be able to access both your home directory and your scratch directory in a File Explorer-like file display that is similar to those you can access via MacOS or Windows operating systems. Here, you will find buttons that allow you to upload and download files between the PC or handheld on which you’re running your web browser and Schooner. You can also edit files here, move and/or rename files, etc, using the buttons presented.
The Jobs menu provides two capabilities:
- Active Jobs is a quick way to look at the status of your own jobs that are queued (not yet running), running or recently completed on Schooner, or you can look at the same information for ALL of the jobs owned by all users, not just yours. Click on individual jobs to see further detail. Or, click on a column header to sort by that column.
- Job Composer is a way to create, edit and submit Slurm batch job scripts to Schooner, so that you can run research application software. OSCER will be updating this section with some template job scripts for our users to edit, for various kinds of batch jobs and various research application software packages.
At present, OSCER operates only one cluster supercomputer, Schooner. The Clusters Menu presents an option, “Schooner Shell Access,” that allows you to log in to Schooner via “Secure Shell,” to use the command line interface to type Unix commands to edit files, compile software, submit batch jobs, etc. This is comparable to logging in via PuTTY or PowerShell in Windows, or the Terminal window in MacOS, but is done via the website and therefore doesn’t require any additional software. Your shell access to Schooner is via one of the cluster’s shared login nodes, so running any compute- or data- intensive application in this shell is forbidden.
The Interactive Apps menu is for launching interactive research application software. This menu presents two categories of options:
- Under “GUIs,” you can choose among several research application software packages that have their own interactive front ends. Users of MATLAB, VMD, and the ANSYS Workbench can start interactive jobs with these research applications via this interface.
- Under “Servers,” you can start a Jupyter Notebook job interactively.
Each of the menu options under “Interactive Apps” will offer you several job parameters that you’ll need to set before launching the application you’ve chosen (or you can just use the defaults that are already shown). Once you’ve set those parameters, click the Launch button at the bottom of the webpage.
Some of these parameters have restrictions on them as we roll out Open OnDemand, and some of these restrictions may be loosened over time. If you have need for more resources than we currently allow, please contact OSCER support at email@example.com to inquire.
On any “Interactive Apps” webpage, there will be a menu on the left side of the webpage showing the same options as in the “Interactive Apps” pulldown menu.
Once you’ve started an interactive session via the Interactive Apps menu, you can interact with that session via “My Interactive Sessions.”
On any “My Interactive Sessions” webpage, there will be a menu on the left side of the webpage showing the same options as in the “My Interactive Sessions” pulldown menu.
Feedback about this service, and requests for additional research software applications that would benefit from interactive access (think graphical displays), especially software that is popular among multiple research groups, are welcomed wholeheartedly.
Please contact OSCER at firstname.lastname@example.org with any such requests, or to ask for help. We love helping researchers use computing in their research!