HPC Concepts


What is an HPC?

An HPC, or High Performance Computer, is a logical computer made up of many physical compute nodes and sometimes a storage node. 

What is the benefit of an HPC?

The obvious benefit is…more resources, more power! But an equally important benefit is software optimized to run jobs in parallel. And another benefit is resources management, provided through a workload manager.

What is Parallel Computing?

It is the ability to split up a large processes into smaller tasks, that are solved simultaneously across compute nodes.

What is a Workload Manager?

When a resource is highly coveted, it can become difficult for others to get usage time. A workload manager allows for anyone to submit a job, and it be placed in a queue that is first come first serve.

What is Scratch Space?

Scratch Space refers to the temporary working directory that a job runs on. It is the largest disk space, stored on the storage node. Usually, scratch space is accessed by /scratch or $scratch, but in our cluster, the /home/username directory is your scratch space. Just keep it clean!

How to Access

Now that you have an idea of how this may benefit you, how do you access Bishop?
Getting An Account
You will need to submit a request on the campus IT ticket portal. By requesting an account, you will also be agreeing to the HPC Policies and Etiquitte.
First Login
Access to the Bishop Cluster is provided through SSH. You will need an SSH client such as Putty to connect. Please be aware, you must also be on the campus network to connect. In the Host Name field, enter the IP address provided from your account request. Be sure that SSH is checked, and click Open. Now enter your credentials as prompted.
note: Steps are based off of Putty and might vary per SSH client.
I’m in! Now what?
Well, if you are unfamiliar with Linux (specifically CentOS) we recommend you take a peek at some command-line guides. Once you know basic Linux, take a peak at our How To… pages.
Other Important Tools
Not everything has to be command-line. We recommend you take a look at an SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) solution, such as WinSCP. This provides you a GUI representation of the file directory. You can copy, move, delete and edit files through this program.