Setting up Ansys to store its working files in local scratch space


Like many other programs that manipulate large amounts of data during execution, Ansys uses large temporary files to store program data during execution. For reasons of runtime performance and efficient storage utilization, it's important that all working files - input, temporary, and output files - be stored locally on the machine running Ansys (on the computer's hard drive), rather than the default location, a user's home directory. User home directories on ME, AEM and ITLabs managed systems are mounted remotely from a network file server - reading and writing files to these locations takes several times longer than to a local hard drive, and also uses a fair amount of network bandwidth. Before running Ansys, a user must properly configure and launch it to ensure that working files are stored locally.

The methods for telling Ansys where to store working files vary with the platform on which it's run (most likely Linux or Windows); the local storage locations available vary with the installation and filesystem layout as determined by the group managing the machine (in this case, ME/AEM and ITLabs - the ME and AEM machines are set up more or less the same, ITLabs systems are set up somewhat differently).

Unix Machines

Local Scratch on Unix Systems - Where to put the Ansys Working Directory

Most ME, AEM and ITLabs Unix machines have local hard disk space available for temporary user files; ITLabs keeps this in a different directory than the ME and AEM machine setups. We recommend you make a custom subdirectory for yourself, named with your account name, and store your temporary Ansys files there. When you're done working with Ansys, copy any files you need to keep to a more permanent storage location, most likely a subdirectory of your home directory.

Warning: These locations are intended for temporary use only! When you've finished your work for a particular batch job or session, make a copy of the files you need to keep to your home directory or other more permanent storage, then remove your temporary files. We may at some time employ automated means to remove files that haven't been accessed or modified after a few days; ITLabs may already do this. If we find a machine that has run out of scratch space, we will delete old files as necessary to free up space.

Warning: Local scratch space is not backed up! This space is intended as temporary storage, and isn't backed up by the departmental backup server: if you lose a file from scratch, we will not be able to recover it!

Setting the Ansys Working Directory - ME/AEM and ITLabs Unix Machines

Windows Machines

Local Scratch on Windows Systems - Where to put the Ansys Working Directory

Setting the Ansys Working Directory - ME/AEM and ITLabs Windows Machines

Launch Ansys
In the 'File' menu, select 'Change Directory'
Enter the desired local folder (see above) to use as the Ansys working directory