Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Grid?

Wayne State University's (WSU) High Performance Computing Services develops, deploys, and maintains a centrally managed, scalable, Grid enabled system capable of storing and running research related high performance computing (HPC) projects. The Grid infrastructure at WSU is designed to allow groups access to many options corresponding to the nature of research being performed. The core Grid services are maintained by the University’s central computing staff within the Computing and Information Technology (C&IT) Department.

Who can use it?

Any WSU student, staff, or faculty member with a valid research-related computational task and a WSU AccessID may use the system. This includes graduate students that are performing research but are not taking classes. 

What do I need?

A Grid account is needed. Prospective users of the WSU Grid can use their AccessID and password to apply online for an account. New accounts are typically created within two business days. 

How do I get a Guest AccessID?

To apply for a Guest AccessID, review the information on "What is Guest AccessID and How Do I Create One?" page and click the link to request a guest AccessID. 

Is there a cost?

There is currently no cost to use WSU's Grid Computing service. The Grid is shared by several research groups so priority is on a basis of first come, first served.

What should I do to get the software I need installed on the Grid?

To request software for the Grid, fill out and submit the Software Request form. 

What should I use to connect to the Grid?

There are two methods of connecting to the Grid. An SSH-2 client is needed for remote access. OpenSSH and PuTTY are free applications that may be downloaded and used by anyone. PuTTY is a windows based client and OpenSSH may be used on Linux/Unix machines and also has SFTP/SCP capabilities. If you are an OS 10 user then OpenSSH is already included on your machine.

An SFTP/SCP client is needed for file transfers. OpenSSH and WinSCP are free applications that may be downloaded and used by anyone. WinSCP is a windows based client and OpenSSH may be used on Linux/Unix machines and also has SFTP/SCP capabilities. If you are an OS X user then OpenSSH is already included on your machine. Check out the tutorials for these clients and more on our tutorials page.

How do I submit jobs to the Grid?

The Grid uses the PBS (Portable Batch System) job scheduler for job submission. See the tutorial for information on submitting jobs. 

What is $TMPDIR?

$TMPDIR is an environmental variable for a temporary directory created by PBS on each node assigned to the job in $PBS_NODEFILE. You must work from this directory and then move your files to your home directory when you are finished. $TMPDIR is a directory in /tmp of the format pbs. '$PBS_JOBID' , or pbs.#####.pbs where ##### is the job number. This directory is local to each node, and is not globally accessible across nodes. If your applications stores files there temporarily then be sure to clean them up and move your files to your home directory. We do not backup /tmp or /export/tmp, so be warned not to store your files there.

How can I check my disk quota?

Log onto the Grid using PuTTY. Type 'wsuquota'. Press enter. This will give you your disk quota. 

What can I do when I run out of disk space?

If you need to request more space, go to the Grid Account Request page and do so. Change the amount you have under "The amount of disk space that you will need in GB:" section to what you require. Your disk quota will be updated once we process the application. 

Where can I get help?

Check out our tutorials for help in accessing and using the Grid.

Troubleshooting

For other assistance contact the High Performance Computing Services team. Email: hpc@wayne.edu or call at (313) 577-4743 

How can I purchase equipment to be hosted on the Grid?

For information of the benefits of purchasing equipment to be hosted at the WSU Computing Center check out our page on Purchasing Equipment for the Grid under Admin Resources.