What is SuperTime?
High-Performance Computing (HPC) is the use of large-scale, off-site computers and parallel processing techniques for solving complex computational problems. HPC technology focuses on using parallel processing algorithms and systems. HPC is typically used for solving advanced problems and performing research activities through computer modelling, simulation and analysis. The terms High-Performance Computing and Supercomputing are used interchangeably.
Uses of HPC
HPC systems are most often useful for researchers:
- with parallelisable tasks (parallelism can be achieved on a fine or coarse grain level — on a fine level you have a program which is intrinsically parallel while on a coarse grain level you might run many instances of the same program for parameter studies)
- to take advantage of fine/coarse grain parallelism, embarrassingly parallel and parameter studies techniques
- with computing jobs needing more memory (RAM) than available on their local systems (if you run out of memory on your desktop system or can no longer process your data quickly enough)
- needing access to software packages offered by the HPC facilities.
HPC jobs run in a non-interactive batch mode. These jobs are submitted to a queue, and when the time comes for them to be executed they can run without any user intervention. This means that HPC systems rarely sit idle but utilise the hardware fully. It has the benefit that you can queue your jobs and get on with other things while you wait for them to execute. If you are accustomed to using your program interactively, you will have to learn how to use its batch mode in order to use it for HPC.