Welcome and Introduction to HTCondor

The HTCondor software system is developed by the Center for High Throughput Computing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), and was first installed as a production system in the UW-Madison Computer Sciences department in the 1990s. HTCondor pools have since served as a major source of computing cycles to thousands of campuses, labs, organizations and commercial entities. For many, it has revolutionized the role computing plays in their research. Increasing computing throughput by several orders of magnitude may not merely deliver the same results faster, but may enable qualitatively different avenues of research.

HTCondor is a specialized batch system for managing compute-intensive jobs. HTCondor provides a queuing mechanism, scheduling policy, priority scheme, and resource classifications. Users submit their compute jobs to HTCondor, HTCondor puts the jobs in a queue, runs them, and then informs the user as to the result.

Batch systems normally operate only with dedicated machines. Often termed worker nodes, these dedicated machines are typically owned by one group and dedicated to the sole purpose of running compute jobs. HTCondor can schedule jobs on dedicated machines. But unlike traditional batch systems, HTCondor is also designed to run jobs on machines shared and used by other systems or people. By running on these shared resources, HTCondor can effectively harness all machines throughout a campus. This is important because often an organization has more latent, idle computers than any single department or group otherwise has access to.