Using local disk to improve I/O performance

On Aurora, all nodes have a local disk. This disk offers superior bandwidth when compared to accessing your home space or the /lunarc/nobackup center storage. In particular, when files are read or written repeatedly during execution it is advisable to copy the input data onto the local disk before job execution and copy the result files back to the submission directory once your program has finished. During its execution, your program would then read and write to local disk.

In the case of Aurora, the submission directory typically resides on the /lunarc/nobackup center storage. All data left on the node local disks will be deleted when your job has finished. You need to copy everything of interest to a more permanent storage space such as /lunarc/nobackup. If a job is terminated prematurely, for example, if it exceeds the requested walltime, the files on the local disk (in $SNIC_TMP) will be lost.

Files that would still be useful can be listed in a special file $SNIC_TMP/slurm_save_files. Filenames are assumed to be relative to $SNIC_TMP and should be separated by spaces or listed on separate lines. Wildcards are allowed. These files will be copied from the local disk where $SNIC_TMP/slurm_save_files exists to the submission directory regardless of whether the job ends as planned or is deleted unless there is a problem with the disk or node itself. Note that the slurm_save_files feature is unique to LUNARC.

For the required UNIX scripting you should use the following environment variables. Example scripts using this technique are provided in the example section of this document. Contact the help desk if you have specific requirements and require consultation.

Variable Addressed Volume
SNIC_TMP node local disk, copy your input data here and start your program from here
TMPDIR node local disk, many applications use this environment variable to locate a disk volume for temporary scratch space. If your application follows that convention nothing needs to be done.
SLURM_SUBMIT_DIR submission directory where you ran sbatch

Author: (LUNARC)

Last Updated: 2022-10-05