The OSCAR Revolution
The first thing one notices when untarring the OSCAR file is that the OSCAR integration and test team has done a thorough job; there is extensive documentation on how to install OSCAR, the system requirements, the licensing (GPL) and the theory behind OSCAR itself. There is a quick start guide for the impatient cluster administrator, as well as a full descriptive text. One also notices that there's nothing additional to download; it's all included in the single OSCAR tar file. OSCAR takes the traditional view of clusters—a single server with N compute nodes; the server is responsible for installing, scheduling and monitoring the compute nodes. Nodes in the cluster should be running homogeneous software, meaning the same distribution and version of Linux. The first command the user enters is install_cluster, which does a multitude of things: creates necessary directories; manages NFS and xinetd; installs LAM/MPI, C3, PBS, Maui, OpenSSH, SIS, Perl, SystemImager and MPICH; updates various profiles and configuration scripts; and launches the OSCAR wizard.
If all goes well, you're in for a pleasant surprise, namely, the OSCAR wizard. The OSCAR team felt the wizard would be another distinguishing feature of OSCAR in the field of Linux cluster solutions. The purpose of the wizard is clear—follow the wizard and you too can install a cluster painlessly. Each step along the wizard's path has entry and exit criteria. Once the exit criteria is successfully met, OSCAR gives a success message to indicate it's safe to move on to the next step.
Following the wizard, pressing the Build OSCAR client image button brings up the second panel, the Create a SystemImager Image panel.
The purpose of the SystemImager panel is to create a filesystem on the server that will later be installed on each client. The Image Name field allows the user to create multiple SystemImager images, each with a unique name. The Package File field provides a list of packages that will be installed on the client; OSCAR provides sample lists that meet most user requirements. The Packages Directory tells where the RPMs are coming from, and the Disk Partition File field allows the user to customize the disk partitions. Again, OSCAR provides default disk partition definition files for both IDE and SCSI drives. Pressing the Build Image button starts the process of building a client image on the server. Once complete, it's time to go back to the wizard for step two, defining the OSCAR clients.
From the Add Clients panel, the user can specify a range of IP addresses to be associated with a list of new clients. Each client is associated with an image name using the Image Name field. One can define a set of clients in a range of IP addresses, each having the same netmask and default gateway. Pressing the Addclients button builds client definitions for SIS. Once complete, it's back to step three on the wizard, Setup Networking.
From the Setup Networking panel, MAC addresses are collected for each client in the cluster. If the node is capable of true network (PXE) boot, you simply associate a MAC address with a client, and you're ready to power up the node. If the node is not PXE-enabled, you can write a SystemImager boot diskette from the Build Autoinstall Floppy button. Once the MAC addresses are collected, it's time to press the button to Configure the DHCP Server and boot all the nodes to initiate Linux installation.
Once all the nodes are installed, each node starts this really annoying and incessant beeping telling the system administrator to pop out the diskette or turn off PXE and reboot the node from the hard drive. Once they are all booted, the nodes are ready to Complete Cluster Setup from the wizard (really just syncing the time between servers and clients and running any package-sensitive postiinstallation scripts). The Test Cluster Setup button from the wizard runs short jobs, checking each flavor of scheduler and parallel library.
Once the cluster is fully installed and functioning, there are test scripts to check the overall health of the cluster. Running the test_install script will check to make sure PBS or Maui Scheduler is configured and running, that the C3 tools are installed and that the cluster at that time is ready to start accepting parallel jobs.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide