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(updated: Jul 20, 2017 15:38


The Remote Connection Manager (RCM) is an application that allows HPC-users to perform remote visualization on Cineca HPC clusters. Using this tool you can graphycally inspect your data without moving them to your local work station. The graphical interface of RCM allows to the HPC-users to create remote displays and manage them (connect, kill, refresh).

Please report any problem to: superc@cineca.it

System requirements

The “Remote Connection Manager”  works on the following operating systems:

  1. Microsoft : Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10
  2. Linux :      Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 18
  3. Apple :     OSX Mavericks, OSX El Captain

Other Linux distribution are untested.

Under macOS Sierra User,Password authentichation does not work: as a workaround install SSH Key-pair.

Download

Download the application compatible with your operating system in the download page. On linux operating system you have to make the file executable with the command "chmod +x filename".

Getting started

Please consider that RCM is a client/server application: every time you interact with the application, server side has to perform some operations that can take some time depending on bandwidth and latency of your Internet connection and workload of the clusters.

Start the application double clicking on the application icon and press the "NEW LOGIN" button.

Insert the hostname (see the table below) or select a previous session from the drop-down menu, your username and password, then press “Login”.

ClusterHostname
PICOlogin.pico.cineca.it
GALILEOlogin.galileo.cineca.it
MARCONIrcm.marconi.cineca.it

 

It is also possible use ssh key to login with RCM client but for security reason at least one character must be digit on password field. 

 It is possible to manage different cluster in the same RCM session: just click on "NEW LOGIN" again and insert a login node of a different cluster.

Once logged in, a new panel will show you the list of available remote displays. If you have not created a display yet, the list will be empty and you will be suggested to press the “NEW DISPLAY” button to create a new display.

 

Working with displays

Create a new display

 To create a new display, click on the “NEW DISPLAY” button.

A new window will appear to allow users to set:

  1. the name of the session you are going to create (mandatory)
  2. the queue on which you are allowed to create the new display ( if any );
  3. the dimensions of the remote display you are going to create. The dafault value is the "Full screen" dimensions. A drop-down menu allows users to choose from values used in the previous sessions.

 

Pressing OK, the remote display will be created and you will be automatically connected to it: this operation can take some time depending on the workload of the clusters.
 
Now you can start your remote work session. When a new display is created a new item will be added to the list of available display on the RCM panel, showing some display information.

Note that on PICO machine the number of concurrent displays a user can create is limited to 2.

Resources available

The remote visualization service is available on different Cineca's clusters. On each clusters, different resources are available:


PICO:

HOSTACCESS TYPERESOURCESLIMITS
login.pico.cineca.itPBS1 shared node with Intel Xeon E5 2670 v2 @ 2.5Ghz, 128GB, 2 GPU Nvidia K40walltime: 12h

 

GALILEO:

HOSTACCESS TYPE RESOURCESLIMITS
login.galileo.cineca.itPBS 3 nodes with Intel Xeon E5 2670 v2 @ 2.5Ghz, 128GB, 2 GPU Nvidia K40 (different configurations availbale with different quantity of memory and number of cores)walltime: from 2h to 12h

Connect to a display

To connect to a display you have already created, press the "CONNECT" button beside the corresponding item of the available display list.

 While a connection is active, the related  “CONNECT” button will be disabled. In every moment you can close the remote connection by closing the relative window: the “CONNECT” button will become active and allowing you ro connect again to the same remote session you have closed. 

Note that by closing the window of a remote connection, you are not killing the display: this means that your display is still alive and you have not lost your work. Think of that as if you are turning off your monitor: when you turn it on (by pressing “CONNECT”) you will find the same situation you had before.

Share a display

Sharing a remote display means to give to another user the possibility to access to a specific remote display you have created. The sharing of a remote display is done by means of a .vnc file that as to be saved by the owner of the display and opened by the user who has to access to the shared display. To share a display, click on the "SHARE" button related to the remote display you want to share.  A dialog will prompts the user to select a location for saving a file.

 Send the saved file to the users who needs to access to the shared display. To connect to a shared display click on the "OPEN" button and select the received .vnc file. 

Kill a display

Displays can be destroyed by pressing the “KILL” button. Just press “KILL”  beside the display you don’t want to use anymore, and it will removed from the list of the available displays. This operation can take some time, depending on the workload of the clusters.

 Note that by pressing “KILL”, the relative display will be not reachable anymore and you will lost not saved data.

Display information

The RCM panel shows some information about available displays.

STATE: the condition of the remote display: pending (starting up the display ), valid ( display available ), killing ( deleting display )

SESSION NAME: name given to the display

CREATED: the date and time on which the display has been created

NODE: the node of the cluster on which the remote display has been created

DISPLAY: the display number VNC has allocated for the remote session

USERNAME: the username associated to the remote display (the one the user have used on the Login dialog of the RCM)

TIMELEFT: the remaining time before the session will ends. You can update the value by clicking on REFRESH button ( if the display has no time limit, this value is replaced by the simbol "~" )

Note that each display has a time limit: over that time limit, the display will be automatically killed and not saved data will be lost. Check the value of TIMELEFT to control the remaining time before the session will be killed.

Running a visualization software

Once you are connected to a remote display, you will find a folder called “Common tools” on the remote desktop.

The “Common tools” folder contains a series of icons you can use to run the visualization software installed on the cluster. Just double click on the icons to run the related application.

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