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Bede Documentation

Information about Bede's hardware and usage as well as guidance on how to register a new project and user account. The page also features links to full system documentation.

To view the most up-to-date versions of the Bede documentation, please visit: https://bede-documentation.readthedocs.io/

Bede's Hardware

The system is based around the IBM POWER9 CPU and NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. Connectivity within a node is optimised by both the CPUs and GPUs being connected to an NVIDIA NVLink 2.0 bus, and outside of a node by a dual-rail Mellanox EDR InfiniBand interconnect allowing GPUDirect RDMA communications (direct memory transfers to/from GPU memory).

A comprehensive overview of Bede's hardware, including details of the login nodes, GPU nodes and inferrence nodes can be found at: https://n8cir.org.uk/supporting-research/facilities/bede/hardware/

Usage

Bede is running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and access to its computational resources is mediated by the Slurm batch scheduler.

How to Register a Project or get an Account

Access to the machine is based around projects. To register a new project please visit: https://n8cir.org.uk/supporting-research/facilities/bede/docs/bede_registrations/

To create an account to use the system:

  • Identify an existing project, or register a new one
  • Create an EPCC SAFE account and login to the SAFE system at: https://safe.epcc.ed.ac.uk/
  • Once there, select "Project->Request access" from the web interface and then register against your project
Adding a deputy or co-PI

It is recommended that you appoint a deputy or co-PI. The process for nominating a project manager and elevating them to PI is as follows.

Each user can have a single account on Bede, but an account can join many projects by selecting Project > Request access from SAFE's menu. You will be asked to choose your own user name. The request will go to the PI, who will receive an email to approve it.

  • Once approved, the PI can nominate a user as a project manager, who will also be able to approve further accounts and other tasks.
  • Once the account has been created, the user will receive an email describing how to retrieve the initial password, where the documentation is, and how to login to the system.
  • The first time a user logs in, they will be forced to change their password.
To be promoted to project manager, the PI needs to log in to SAFE and:

  • Select Project Admin > Modify Project from the menu
  • Choose the appropriate project code
  • Click on the big red "MANAGE" button at the bottom of the page
  • Click on "Add project manager", then follow the prompts
Users of Bede are expected to read and accept the privacy policy. You can see the full policy here: https://n8cir.org.uk/about/privacy/privacy-notice-bede/

How to Login

Bede offers an SSH service running on host bede.dur.ac.uk (which fronts the two login nodes, login1.bede.dur.ac.uk and login2.bede.dur.ac.uk). SSH should be used for all interaction with the machine (including shell access and file transfer).

The login nodes are shared between all users of the service and therefore should only be used for light interactive work, for example: downloading and compiling software, editing files, preparing jobs and examining job output. Short test runs using their CPUs and GPUs are also acceptable.

Most of the computational power of the system is accessed through the batch scheduler, and so demanding applications should be submitted to it, see https://bede-documentation.readthedocs.io/en/latest/usage/index.html#running-jobs

How to ask for Help

Each of the eight universities in the N8 Research Partnership have one full-time equivalent RSE dedicated to supporting Bede. You can see details of these individuals and teams here: https://n8cir.org.uk/supporting-research/facilities/bede/rse-support-bede/

Each institution is organised slightly differently so there isn't a universal mechanism for contacting the Bede RSEs.

What Training is Available

At the present time no specific training is available for those wishing to make use of Bede. We would advise researchers who may wish to use the system to contact the Bede RSE at their institution using the contacts page here: https://n8cir.org.uk/supporting-research/facilities/bede/rse-support-bede/

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