ParaView Client-Server HPC Job Launching
Starting a complex client/server application such as ParaView in the DSRC environment can be very challenging. Fortunately, ParaView provides CONNECTION DEFINITION FILES to efficiently manage this process.
- Connection Definition Files are pre-configured host descriptions that provide you with a GUI-based interface to allocated resources on an HPC system and manage all of the underlying complexities required to connect to a remote HPC system, submit a PBS batch job, and establish communication between the client-side application and the server-side software.
- The GUI interface provides an opportunity to select username and login node, and to establish resource allocations on the cluster such as number of nodes, number of tasks per node and PROJECT ID.
- These user-selected options are saved so that the next time you start, those values are automatically recalled.
Accessing the HPC Systems
For HPC job launching to work correctly, make sure that you can successfully SSH into the remote hostname. The first time you make an SSH connection, you will be asked to add your hostname to the known host cache. You should do this PRIOR to attempting to run in client/server mode.
How do I get ParaView HPC Job Launching on my local Workstation?
- Pre-configured software bundles of ParaView for Windows, Mac, and Linux are available for download from the ParaView Page.
- The bundles are end-user installable and there is a README page associated with each package with instructions on how to proceed with the installation.
- The availability of these packages does not relieve you of any local organizational rules and regulations related to the installation of workstation software.
- If your organization requires any approvals prior to the installation of software, you should continue to obtain that local approval prior to installing this software.
How do I use ParaView with HPC Job Launching?
The actual startup command will be different depending on if you are on a Linux, Mac or Windows workstation. However, by simply launching ParaView using the machine-specific method, the proper connection definition files will be automatically loaded and made available for your use.
- Once ParaView has started, select the CONNECT icon
- You will then be presented with a list of pre-defined host profiles for your use. Select the host you want to connect to, and select the "Connect" button.
- You will now see a list of parameters such as HPC-side username, ProjectID, number of nodes, time, queue, etc., that you can customize. The "ssh executable" is the path to the HPC-enable version of SSH (or plink.exe on Windows) on your LOCAL WORKSTATION that allows you to connect to an HPC resource. Of course, you will need the appropriate Kerberos credentials to make the connection to the HPC system. Select "Connect" to continue.
- At this point, the ParaView client is communicating with the HPC login node that you've selected, and it is submitting a job to the PBS job scheduler. Once the job hits the RUN state, the server-side processes will connect back to the client-side application and you can then proceed with the use of ParaView.