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Job Checkpointing

Job/Application Checkpointing is the capturing of a programs state, so that it can be restarted from that point in case of failure. This is especially important in long running jobs.

How checkpointing can be implemented depends on the application/code being used, some will have inbuilt methods whereas others might require some scripting.


Checkpointing code has the added advantage that it allows you to split your work into smaller jobs, allowing them to move through the queue faster.

Below is an example of submitting the same job again, if previous has run successfully.

# Slurm header #SBATCH etc etc

sbatch --dependency=afterok:${SLURM_JOB_ID} "$0" 
# "$0" is equal to the name of this script.

# Code that implements checkpointing

This job will resubmit itself forever until stopped.

Another example for a job requiring explicit step inputs.

# Slurm header '#SBATCH etc etc

starting_step=${1:-0} # Will be equal to first argument, or '0' if unset.
ending_step=$(( starting_step + n_steps )) 

# Submit next step with starting step equal to ending step of this job.
sbatch --dependency=afterok:${SLURM_JOB_ID} "$0" ${ending_step}

my-program --nfirst ${starting_step} --nlast ${ending_step}

The use of --dependency has the advantage of adding the next job to the queue before starting, saving queue time in between jobs.



% If checkpoint file, load from there.
if exist(checkpoint,'file')==2, load(checkpoint);startindex=i;else startindex=1;end

for i = startindex:100
    % Long running process

    % Save workspace at end of each loop.
    save(['checkpoint_', datestr(now, 'yyyy-mm-ddTHHMM')])


We strongly recommend implementing checkpointing on any job running longer than 3 days!