Parallel processing, scheduling and load balancing  
Click here to register for this workshop

 This is a virtual workshop, you can participate by reading workshop materials, watching video presentations and carrying out exercises on an assigned BioHPC Cloud server (server assignments are listed here). If you need help, please sign up for our Office Hours. The server assigned to you for hands-on exercises will be available for a limited time, see server assignment page or bottom of this page for details. Please note, the server is assigned to you for hands-on exercises, NOT heavy computing, using the server for workshop unrelated computing is not allowed and will result in assignment termination.

This two-session workshop will cover various aspects of using multiple processors to parallelize your work in BioHPC cloud and beyond. We will discuss different parallelization paradigms (shared memory, distributed memory, mixed approach) and shortly introduce the respective programming tools. The common problem of simultaneous processing of multiple independent tasks will be discussed in detail along with tools used to distribute and balance computational load over available resources. Among such tools, job schedulers such as SLURM play an important role as means to balance and prioritize tasks in complex environments with multiple machines, groups of users, and jobs with different CPU and memory requirements. We will introduce the recently developed 'SLURM cluster on demand' feature of BioHPC cloud as an efficient way to streamline your work.

Access to BioHPC Cloud workstations requires a BioHPC Cloud account. If you did not already have such account, you were asked to create one at the time you registered for the workshop. It you need to re-set your BioHPC password, you can do it at If you do not know your BioHPC user ID, contact us at

Since the BioHPC resources are behind the Cornell firewall, the easiest way to access them is from Ithaca campus network (not possible at present) or from any other location while using the Cornell VPN. The latter is avaliable to all users having the Cornell NetID. Please check the relevant CIT website to see if you are elligible for a NetID and obtain one if possible. While out-of-campus access to BioHPC Cloud without the VPN is still possible, it is somewhat more complicated.

A Linux machine for hands-on exercises will be assigned to you automatically (you do not have to make your own reservation).

The workstations will be accessed using the Secure SHell (ssh) protocol. To participate in the exercises, please bring your own laptop with an ssh client installed. MACs and Linux laptops come with native ssh clients and no extra installtion is needed. For windows, the recommended ssh client is PuTTy - please install it prior to the workshop(just download the executable file and put it anywhere on your hard drive; double-click to launch) . To transfer files between your laptop and a Linux machine, you will need an sftp clinet, such as FileZilla (although MAC and Linux laptops come with native sftp clients and no extra installation is necessary, FileZilla would be helpful on these platforms as well). For detailed instructions and more information on access to BioHPC machines, please refer to the following document:, especially points 1 and 2.2-2.4.

Lecture slides

Exercise 1 handouts  PDF  HTML 

Exercise 2 handouts  PDF  HTML

Workshop presentation 1
Workshop presentation 2
Workshop presentation 3
Workshop presentation 4

Workshop server assignment

Server assignment length 10 days  
Website credentials: login  Web Accessibility Help