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Cori for JGI

A subset of nodes on Cori, the flagship supercomputer at NERSC, are reserved for exclusive use by JGI users. The Burst Buffer, Shifter, and all other features available on Cori Haswell nodes are available by using the JGI-specific "quality of service" (QOS).


All JGI staff and collaborators can submit a request to JGI management to be given access to Cori Genepool, the JGI reserved fraction of Cori compute capacity. This service first became available in January 2018.

JGI staff and affiliates are provided special access to Cori via a number of "quality of service" (QOS) arguments which are passed to Slurm job submissions.

  • All JGI users must specify the Slurm account under which the job will run (with -A <youraccount>). Unlike other NERSC users, JGI users accessing the Genepool QOS do not have a default account.
  • For jobs requiring one or more whole nodes, use --qos=genepool.
  • For jobs which can share a node with other jobs, use --qos=genepool_shared.
  • Each of the following items first require module load esslurm:
    • For large memory batch jobs use --qos=jgi_exvivo.
    • For large memory shared batch jobs use --qos=jgi_shared.
    • For large memory interactive jobs use --qos=jgi_interactive.
    • For transfer jobs which write to the Data and Archive file system use --qos=xfer_dna.


Jobs run under the Cori genepool, genepool_shared, jgi_exvivo, jgi_shared, jgi_interactive, and xfer_dna QOSes are not charged. Resources are scheduled to the best of our ability, but interference with other users' workloads can still occur. Please be a good citizen to your fellow researchers. Users violating the spirit of this policy will find themselves less able to do so.


The JGI's Cori capacity is entirely housed on standard Haswell nodes: 32 physical cores, each core with 2 hyperthreads, no local hard drives, and 128GB memory. It is not necessary to request -c Haswell via Slurm if using a JGI QOS. KNL nodes are NOT available via a JGI QOS. To use KNL nodes, submit to one of Cori's standard QOS (such as regular), and use the "m342" account. Be aware that jobs run with "m342" will charge NERSC allocation hours to JGI.


For a single core shared job, you would minimally need:

sbatch --qos=genepool_shared -A <youraccount>

To request an interactive session on a single node with all CPUs and memory:

salloc --qos=genepool -A <youraccount>

Don't forget that if the Cori Genepool QOS is full, the previous command can take a long time to give you a node.

In the earlier examples, youraccount is the project name you submit to, not your username or file group name. If you don't know what accounts you belong to, you can check with:

sacctmgr show associations where user=$USER

Cori Features and Other Things to Know

Cori offers additional features and capabilities that can be of use to JGI researchers:


Cori uses the Slurm job scheduler. Documentation and examples for using Slurm at NERSC can be found here.

Cori Scratch

Cori scratch is storage space for each user located on a Lustre file system accessible from Cori and Cori ExVivo. This directory can be found at /global/cscratch1/sd/$USER or by using the $CSCRATCH environment variable. Like /global/projectb/scratch ($BSCRATCH), Cori scratch is purged periodically; backing up data stored there is your responsibility. The HPSS Tape Data Archive or JGI JAMO system can be used for for this purpose. See the NERSC Data Management Policy for more information on topics such as automatic file backups and scratch directory purge frequency.

$BSCRATCH is also mounted on Cori, Cori Genepool, and Cori ExVivo. This is useful for a workload needing to see files from all machines.


The performance of the different file systems will vary depending significantly on what your application is doing. It's worth experimenting with your data in different locations to see what gives the best results.

Burst Buffer

The Burst Buffer is a fast file system optimized for applications demanding large amounts of I/O bandwidth and operations. This system is particularly suitable for applications that perform lots of random-access, or that read files more than once.

To use the Burst Buffer, add directives to your batch job to either schedule staging in/out of data or to make a persistent reservation. The dynamic reservation lasts only as long as the job that requested it and the disk space is reclaimed once the job ends. A persistent reservation outlives the job that created it and can be accessed by multiple jobs.

Use dynamic reservations for checkpoint files, for files that will be accessed randomly (i.e., not read through in a streaming manner) or just for local scratch space. Cori batch nodes don't have local disk, so a dynamic reservation can serve that role.

Use persistent reservations to store data that is shared between jobs and heavily used such as reference databases. The data on a persistent reservation is stored with normal Unix file system permissions, and anyone can mount your persistent reservation in their batch job, so you can use them to share heavily used data among workflows belonging to a group.

You can access multiple persistent reservations in a single batch job, but any batch job can have only one dynamic reservation.

The per-user limit on Burst Buffer space is 50 TB. If the sum of your persistent and dynamic reservations reaches that total, further jobs that require Burst Buffer space will not start until some of those reservations are removed.


This is a simple example showing how to use the Burst Buffer. See the links below for full documentation on how to use it.

#SBATCH --time=00:10:00
#SBATCH --constraint haswell
#DW jobdw capacity=240GB access_mode=striped type=scratch

echo "My BB reservation is at $DW_JOB_STRIPED"
df -h .

The output from a particular run of this script is below:

My BB reservation is at /var/opt/cray/dws/mounts/batch/6501112_striped_scratch/
File system                                   Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/var/opt/cray/dws/mounts/registrations/24301  242G   99M  242G   1% /var/opt/cray/dws/mounts/batch/6501112_striped_scratch

More information on getting started with Burst Buffer can be found here. There are slides from a training session on the Burst Buffer on the JGI training page.

JGI Partition Configuration

Setting Value
Job limits 5000 exclusive jobs, or 10000 shared jobs
Run time limits 72 h
Partition size 192 nodes
Node configuration 32-core Haswell CPUs (64 hyperthreads), 128GB memory