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OSG Exercise 1.4: Hardware Differences Between CHTC and OSG

The goal of this exercise is to compare hardware differences between our local cluster (CHTC here at UW–Madison) and the Open Science Pool. Specifically, we will look at how easy it is to get access to resources in terms of the amount of memory that is requested. This will not be a very careful study, but should give you some idea of one way in which the pools are different.

In the first two parts of the exercise, you will submit batches of jobs that differ only in how much memory each one requests. This is called this a parameter sweep, in that we are testing many possible values of a parameter. We will request memory from 8–64 GB, doubling the memory each time. One set of jobs will be submitted to CHTC, and the other, identical set of jobs will be submitted to the OS Pool. You will check the queue periodically to see how many jobs have completed and how many are still waiting to run.

Checking CHTC memory availability

In this first part, you will create the submit file that will be used for both the CHTC and OSG jobs, then submit the CHTC set.

Yet another queue syntax

Earlier, you learned about the queue statement and some of the different ways it can be invoked to submit multiple jobs. Similar to the queue from statement to submit jobs based on lines from a specific file, you can use queue in to submit jobs based on a list that is written directly in your submit file:

queue <# of jobs> <variable> in (
<item 1>
<item 2>
<item 3>

For example, to submit 6 total jobs that sleep for 5, 5, 10, 10, 15, and 15 seconds, you could write the following submit file:

executable = /bin/sleep

request_cpus = 1
request_memory = 1MB
request_disk = 1MB

queue 2 arguments in (

Try submitting this yourself and verify that all six jobs are in the queue, using the condor_q -nobatch command.

Create the submit file

To create our parameter sweep, we will create a new submit file with the queue…in syntax and change the value of our parameter (request_memory) for each batch of jobs.

  1. Log in or switch back to (yes, back to CHTC!)
  2. Create and change into a new subdirectory called osg-ex14
  3. Create a submit file named sleep.sub that executes the command /bin/sleep 300.


    If you do not remember all of the submit statements to write this file, or just to go faster, find a similar submit file from a previous exercise. Copy the file and rename it here, and make sure the argument to sleep is 300.

  4. Use the queue…in syntax to submit 10 jobs each for the following memory requests: 8, 16, 32, and 64 GB. There will be 40 jobs total: 10 jobs requesting 8 GB, 10 requesting 16 GB, etc.

  5. Submit your jobs

Monitoring the local jobs

Every few minutes, run condor_q and see how your sleep jobs are doing. To display the number of jobs remaining for each request_memory parameter specified, run the following command:

user@learn $ condor_q <Cluster ID> -af RequestMemory | sort -n | uniq -c

The numbers in the left column are the number of jobs left of that type and the number on the right is the amount of memory you requested, in MB. Consider making a little table like the one below to track progress.

Memory Remaining #1 Remaining #2 Remaining #3
8 GB 10 6
16 GB 10 7
32 GB 10 8
64 GB 10 9

In the meantime, between checking on your local jobs, start the next section – but take a break every few minutes to switch back to learn and record progress on your CHTC jobs.

Checking OS Pool memory availability

Now you will do essentially the same thing on the OS Pool.

  1. Log in or switch to

  2. Copy the osg-ex14 directory from the section above from to

    If you get stuck during the copying process, refer to OSG exercise 1.2.

  3. Submit the jobs to the OS Pool

Monitoring the remote jobs

As you did in the first part, use condor_q to track how your sleep jobs are doing. It is fine to move on to the next exercise, but keep tracking the status of both sets of these jobs. After you are done with the next exercise, come back to this exercise and analyze the results.

Analyzing the results

Have all of your jobs from this exercise completed on both CHTC and the OS Pool? How many jobs have completed thus far on CHTC? How many have completed thus far on the OS Pool?

Due to the dynamic nature of the OS Pool, the demand for higher memory jobs there may have resulted in a temporary increase in high-memory slots there. That being said, 64 GB (and greater) slots are a high-demand, low-availability resource in the OS Pool so it's unlikely that all of your 64 GB jobs matched and ran to completion, if any. On the other hand, CHTC has a fair number of 64 GB (and greater) slots so all your jobs have a high chance of running.