XALT: Understanding HPC Usage via Job Level Data Collection

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Center Green
Robert McLay

XALT collects accurate, detailed, and continuous job-level and link-time data and stores that data in a database; all the data collection is transparent to the users. The amount of data generated can be hundreds of Gigabytes per year for a large center. The data stored can be mined to generate a picture of the compilers, libraries, and other software that users need to run their jobs successfully, highlighting the products that researchers use. We showcase how data collected by XALT can be easily mined into a digestible format by presenting data from four separate HPC centers. XALT is already used by many HPC centers around the world due to its usefulness and complementariness to existing logs and databases. Centers with XALT have a much better understanding of library and executable usage and patterns. We also present new functionality in XALT - namely the ability to anonymize data and early work in providing seamless access to provenance data.

Speaker Description: 

Doctor Robert McLay received bachelors and masters degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D in Engineering Mechanics from The University of Texas at Austin. His research include C++ software development, regression testing, and software tools, all related to large parallel numerical simulation codes. In particular, he has done work in parallel finite-element programs solving incompressible fluid flow and heat transfer.

His interest in software tools and support of HPC programming environments has lead to his development of Lmod, a modern replacement for Environment Modules system. Lmod's major advantages are protect all users from loading incompatible software without hindering experts. This work as lead to an interest in tracking the software usage through the module system.

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