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IQSS Cannon Quickstart Guide

What is Cannon?

Cannon is the Faculty of Arts and Sciences research computing cluster for users with Data Security Level 2 data.  This guide explains how to begin using Cannon.  If you have Data Security Level 3 data, you must use the FAS Secure Environment (FASSE) cluster.

Fun fact: Cannon is named after the early 20th century Harvard astronomer Annie Jump Cannon.

Pre-requisite steps

Get set up on FASRC:

    1. Get a FASRC account
      1. Important: Be sure to request “FASRC Cluster Access” on the “Services” page
    2. Set your FASRC password
    3. Configure 2FA
    4. Configure VPN

To use Cannon

Log in

Log into the VPN:
  • Use Cisco AnyConnect server address vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu
      1. Enter your FASRC username in the format of username@fasrc
      2. Enter your FASRC password
      3. Enter FASRC 2FA token.
        1. The Two-Step Verification Code is the 2FA code you set up above with your FASRC account. This is NOT the code associated with your HarvardKey account.
Log into the Cannon cluster:

Transfer files

To work with your files on Cannon, you will need to copy them to a location on the compute cluster. Files that will only be used by you can be stored in your home folder. Files that will be accessed by others can be stored in your lab space. There are several ways to set up and initiate file transfers, depending on your needs and preferences.

Run an interactive application

  • There is a group of quick launch tiles with popular applications
  • Click on the icon of the application you want to use
  • Fill in the details for your application, then click Launch.
  • This will bring you the My Interactive Sessions page.
  • It may take a few minutes for your application to start, as indicated by either or both of the following messages:
    • Please be patient as your job currently sits in queue. The wait time depends on the number of cores as well as time requested.
    • Your session is currently starting… Please be patient as this process can take a few minutes.
  • Once it is visible, click on the “Connect to…” or “Launch…” button, which will open your application in a new window.

Close your application

  • Close the application window
  • Navigate to the Cannon dashboard window
  • Click “delete” in the “Active interactive sessions” area for that application.
    • As this area only displays the 3 most recent applications, you might need to go to Interactive Sessions to find your application.

Run a batch job

  • Run a batch job by doing one of the following:
    • Use the Job Composer from the Jobs menu
    • Use a Terminal
      • Select Clusters -> FASRC Shell Access
      • Launch a Remote Desktop and use the Terminal there
      • SSH from your local computer to login.rc.fas.harvard.edu using your FASRC username, password and 2FA token.

Further Information

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