VU HPC course 2017-11-13

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General Information

SURFsara is operating an HPC Cloud computing service using the model ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ (IaaS). The HPC Cloud has a powerful user interface (UI) which grants access to high-performant compute and storage nodes. The UI and cloud software relies on OpenNebula and the cluster of resources available is called Oort, after the Oort cloud.

This course is part of the VU HPC Course 2017 program. It aims to introduce the participants to the HPC Cloud, by providing an introductory lecture to the service and a set of hands-on exercises to be run on the Oort production infrastructure.

Here is a summary of the course outline:


Date: 13th Nov. 2017
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Mathematics and Physics building (W&N building), Room WN-C203

  • 09:30 Welcome
  • 09:40 Presentation & Demo: Introduction to SURFsara HPC Cloud (Nuno Ferreira)
  • 10:10 Hands-on: Parts A & B
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 Presentation: Cloudifying - parallelism & API (Ander Astudillo)
  • 13:45 Hands-on: Extras
  • 17:00 End


Participants are expected to bring a laptop with Internet connection and a browser installed. Prior experience with Linux commands will help but is not a prerequisite.

For this workshop you will need:

NOTE for Windows using MobaXterm:

If you attended previous sessions, then you probably have already installed and configured this tool.

NOTE for Windows using GitBash:

For the course purposes you will need to start a graphical window in your laptop that is connected to your HPC Cloud machine. To make this work, you need to adjust the following:

  • Open GitBash (or git for windows).
  • In the terminal that appears, copy and paste the following commands:
# press enter to submit each command
echo "export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0" >> $HOME/.bashrc
source $HOME/.bashrc


The hands-on tutorial consists of three parts. Parts A & B provide exercises for you to grasp the basic concepts on how to operate in the HPC Cloud environment. The Extras part will focus on advanced topics, namely parallel programming and automation.

Food for brain

You will find several Food for brain questions scattered in the hands-on exercises. They are meant for you to self-assess your progress acquiring the knowledge and trigger your curiosity.