Best practices for management and operation of large HPC installations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To achieve their mission and goals, HPC centers continually strive to improve the effectiveness of their resources and services to best serve their constituencies. Collectively, the community has learned a great deal about how to manage and operate HPC centers, provide robust and effective services, and develop new communities as well as about other important aspects. Yet, cataloguing best practices to help inform and guide the broader HPC community is not often done. To improve the situation, the Blue Waters project has documented sets of best practices that have been adopted for the deployment and operation over the past five years of the Blue Waters leadership system, a large Cray XE6/XK7 supercomputer at NCSA. Those practices, described in this paper, cover aspects of managing and operating the system and its resources, supporting its users, and expanding the diversity of applications and communities. Although the technical practices are sometimes discussed relative to Cray systems and leadership-scale systems, we believe that they would benefit the deployment and operation of other large HPC installations as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere5069
JournalConcurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 25 2019


  • best practices
  • system management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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