Slurm accounting with AWS ParallelCluster - AWS ParallelCluster

Slurm accounting with AWS ParallelCluster

Starting with version 3.3.0, AWS ParallelCluster supports Slurm accounting with the cluster configuration parameter SlurmSettings / Database.

With Slurm accounting, you can integrate an external accounting database to do the following:

  • Manage cluster users or groups of users and other entities. With this capability, you can use Slurm's more advanced features, such as resource limit enforcement, fairshare, and QOSs.

  • Collect and save job data, such as the user that ran the job, the job's duration, and the resources it uses. You can view the saved data with the sacct utility.


AWS ParallelCluster supports Slurm accounting for Slurm supported MySQL database servers.

Working with Slurm accounting in AWS ParallelCluster

Before you configure Slurm accounting, you must have an existing external database server and database that uses mysql protocol.

To configure Slurm accounting with AWS ParallelCluster, you must define the following:

  • The URI for the external database server in Database / Uri. The server must exist and be reachable from the head node.

  • Credentials to access the external database that are defined in Database / PasswordSecretArn and Database / UserName. AWS ParallelCluster uses this information to configure accounting at the Slurm level and the slurmdbd service on the head node. slurmdbd is the daemon that manages communication between the cluster and the database server.

To step through a tutorial, see Creating a cluster with Slurm accounting.


AWS ParallelCluster performs a basic bootstrap of the Slurm accounting database by setting the default cluster user as database admin in the Slurm database. AWS ParallelCluster doesn't add any other user to the accounting database. The customer is responsible for managing the accounting entities in the Slurm database.

AWS ParallelCluster configures slurmdbd to ensure that a cluster has its own Slurm database on the database server. The same database server can be used across multiple clusters, but each cluster has its own separate database. AWS ParallelCluster uses the cluster name to define the name for the database in the slurmdbd configuration file StorageLoc parameter. Consider the following situation. A database that's present on the database server includes a cluster name that doesn't map to an active cluster name. In this case, you can create a new cluster with that cluster name to map to that database. Slurm reuses the database for the new cluster.

  • We don't recommend setting up more than one cluster to use the same database at once. Doing so can lead to performance issues or even database deadlock situations.

  • If Slurm accounting is enabled on the head node of a cluster, we recommend using an instance type with a powerful CPU, more memory, and higher network bandwidth. Slurm accounting can add strain on the head node of the cluster.

In the current architecture of the AWS ParallelCluster Slurm accounting feature, each cluster has its own instance of the slurmdbd daemon as shown in the following diagram example configurations.

A configuration with two clusters that are connected to a MySQL server. Each cluster has their own slurmdbd daemon instance. Moreover, each cluster is connected to its own database through the server. Another configuration with a single cluster that has its own slurmdbd daemon instance. This configuration is connected to a MySQL server and is also connected to its own database through the server.

If you're adding custom Slurm multi-cluster or federation functionalities to your cluster environment, all clusters must reference the same slurmdbd instance. For this alternative, we recommend that you enable AWS ParallelCluster Slurm accounting on one cluster and manually configure the other clusters to connect to the slurmdbd that are hosted on the first cluster.

If you're using AWS ParallelCluster versions prior to version 3.3.0, refer to the alternative method to implement Slurm accounting that's described in this HPC Blog Post.

Slurm accounting considerations

Database and cluster on different VPCs

To enable Slurm accounting, a database server is needed to serve as a backend for the read and write operations that the slurmdbd daemon performs. Before the cluster is created or updated to enable Slurm accounting, the head node must be able to reach the database server.

If you need to deploy the database server on a VPC other than the one that the cluster uses, consider the following:

  • To enable communication between the slurmdbd on the cluster side and the database server, you must set up connectivity between the two VPCs. For more information, see VPC Peering in the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud User Guide.

  • You must create the security group that you want to attach to the head node on the VPC of the cluster. After the two VPCs have been peered, cross-linking between the database side and the cluster side security groups is available. For more information, see Security Group Rules in the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud User Guide.

Configuring TLS encryption between slurmdbd and the database server

With the default Slurm accounting configuration that AWS ParallelCluster provides, slurmdbd establishes a TLS encrypted connection to the database server, if the server supports TLS encryption. AWS database services such as Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora support TLS encryption by default.

You can require secure connections on the server side by setting the require_secure_transport parameter on the database server. This is configured in the provided CloudFormation template.

Following security best practice, we recommend that you also enable server identity verification on the slurmdbd client. To do this, configure the StorageParameters in the slurmdbd.conf. Upload the server CA certificate to the head node of the cluster. Next, set the SSL_CA option of StorageParameters in slurmdbd.conf to the path of the server CA certificate on the head node. Doing this enables server identity verification on the slurmdbd side. After you make these changes, restart the slurmdbd service to re-establish connectivity to the database server with identity verification enabled.

Updating the database credentials

To update the values for Database / UserName or PasswordSecretArn, you must first stop the compute fleet. Suppose that the secret value that's stored in the AWS Secrets Manager secret is changed and its ARN isn't changed. In this situation, the cluster doesn't automatically update the database password to the new value. To update the cluster for the new secret value, run the following command from the head node.

$ sudo /opt/parallelcluster/scripts/slurm/

To avoid losing accounting data, we recommend that you only change the database password when the compute fleet is stopped.

Database monitoring

We recommend that you enable the monitoring features of the AWS database services. For more information, see Amazon RDS monitoring or Amazon Aurora monitoring documentation.