iCSF - interactive Computational Shared Facility (aka Incline)

Getting Started on the iCSF

The following page lists the most common items of info a new user will need. Links to relevant sections of the documentation are provided.

Requesting an Account

Please see the user accounts page for how to request an account, vistor/collaborator access, extensions to accounts and policies applicable to all users.

The iCSF is used Remotely from your Desktop or Laptop Machine

The iCSF is accessed, remotely, from the comfort of your office (or home). Full details are provided in the Connecting to iCSF documentation, for access from Linux, MacOS and MS Windows.

Running Computational Work

The iCSF is a cluster of compute nodes, just like the CSF. However, there are no queues – there is no batch system. On login, users “arrive” immediately at the command-line prompt of a compute node and should simply start applications, exactly as if using a Linux PC/laptop.

Please note that the iCSF does not have any GPUs. If you need GPUs you will need to use the CSF3 which has Nvidia V100s and A100s and a range of popular GPU/Machine Learning/Deep Learning software.

The iCSF is a Shared Resource — without Queues

Each compute node may be in use by several users at the same time so it is possible that one user’s work will reduce the resources (memory, CPU cores, temporary disk) required by another’s. If a user’s work frequently tramples on that of others, it is likely that the iCSF is not a suitable place for running such computations – they should be relocated onto the CSF and submitted to the batch system there (this ensures jobs have the resources they request).

MS Windows Users

All nodes in the iCSF cluster run the Linux operating system. If you are a MS Windows user there are some common pitfalls you may encounter when starting to use the iCSF. Please read our guide on Using the CIR systems from Windows to understand how best to use the iCSF from your MS Windows desktop/laptop.

Training Courses

Users who are completely new to this kind of computational environment, and research computing in general, may also wish to consider attending IT Services training courses.

Getting Help

The information given here is specific to the iCSF and assumes some familiarity with Linux and/or working on HPC systems. The documentation is intended to be comprehensive but please do contact us at its-ri-team@manchester.ac.uk if you have any questions about using the system.

Last modified on June 15, 2022 at 3:21 pm by Pen Richardson