Major Changes to condor_sas

The condor_sas script used to submit SAS jobs to the SSCC condor flock has been replaced by a new program. It has the same name and basic usage is the same (condor_sas sasprogram), but it does its work in a very different way and includes additional options.

Condor was built for CPU-bound jobs, since most research computing jobs are CPU-bound. However, big SAS jobs are typically disk-bound so Condor does not manage them efficiently. The new program still submits SAS jobs to the servers in the SSCC Condor flock, but does not use Condor to do so. The main changes are:

  • The new condor_sas will only run one SAS job per server. Modern servers have many CPUs, but just one disk I/O bus so running more than one disk-bound job does not work well.
  • If all the Condor servers with SAS installed are running SAS jobs, condor_sas will tell you so rather than queuing the job to run later. Thus you can run your job on Kite or Hal immediately.
  • The new condor_sas looks for the least busy available server, but will run SAS jobs on servers that are running other Condor jobs if needed. This will prevent SAS users from having to wait days for a Condor server with SAS to become available, since SAS is rarely if ever used for multi-day jobs. CPU-bound jobs and disk-bound jobs use different resources, so a server can run them at the same time with very little performance loss.
  • SAS jobs submitted using condor_sas will not show up in condor_q or condor_status and cannot be terminated using condor_rm. Instead you will use condor_sas -status, condor_sas -jobs and condor_sas -kill. Typing condor_sas -help or condor_sas all by itself will give you a description of these options.

For more information about how to run big SAS jobs without causing problems for other users, see Running Large SAS Jobs on the SSCC Linux Servers.

SSCC's Spring Training Schedule

SSCC's spring training is well underway. We have a lot of offerings this month including several classes in SPSS, Stata, and SAS. We also have a Converting to Office 2007, Wordpress, Intro to Linux, and Introduction to Pattern Based Search and Replace class. All SSCC classes require registration. For details and to register please visit our training web page.

Introduction to R Programming Workshop

The Center for Demography and Ecology will be offering an Introduction to R Programming workshop on February 26, March 5, 12, and 19 from 1:00-2:30. Marc Ratkovic, a graduate student in political science and statistics, will be teaching the workshop. R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is available for a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. SSCC has R installed on both our Winstat servers and Linux servers (including Condor). Visit R's web site for more information.

This workshop will be tailored to applications in demographical research, but should be useful to anyone interested in R. Please visit our training web page to register. Seats are limited so if the class fills up CDE members will receive priority.

Tip: If you receive email that uses non-European characters, check your spam folder periodically

The SSCC's spam filter does a very good job of not putting legitimate mail in your spam folder if it's written using European characters. However, it has a more difficult time with non-European character sets, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Cyrillic characters. If you receive email that uses these character sets they may occasionally be placed in your spam folder. Messages are automatically deleted from your spam folder after 14 days, so you should check your spam folder for misclassified mail at least once every two weeks.