Product of the Day: ABC Management Software

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Product: ABC Management SoftwareManufacturer: Aspen Systems, Inc.Address: 3900 Youngfield Street               Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033Telephone: (US & Canada only) at 800-992-9242 or 303-431-4606URL:

Aspen Systems Provides a Powerful Management Tool that Is Critical to the Operation of a Beowulf Cluster

Aspen Systems, Inc., a leader in the custom design, manufacture and service of a wide array of Linux-based high-performance computing solutions, released version 2.0 for their turnkey, browser-based software management system, Aspen Beowulf Cluster (ABC) Management Software. ABC 2.0 is built on the foundation of the currently successful ABC 1.2.

Aspen Systems has expanded ABC 2.0 to include the following capabilities:

  • Supports AMD Opteron processors

  • SSL enabled access - Paranoid about who can access your cluster? ABC 2.0 is enabled with SSL, so whether you are logging in from within your campus environment or from another continent, access to sensitive login information is encrypted to give you piece of mind.

  • Shadow copy/restore capabilities - Provides disaster recovery or a simple node clone. Regardless, the results are the same. Save a node image in under 15 minutes. Restore an image to ANY node in under 20 minutes. Trouble-shooting a miss-behaved node could take more than 15 minutes. Don't bother, re-image it! Need the master image saved and potentially restored as well? ABC 2.0 can do that, too!

  • Diskless node configuration, administration and management - Do you have government-classified projects running on your cluster and do not want the hassle of maintaining multiple "live" systems? Is the "one-image" compute node model appealing? ABC 2.0 has it now!

  • Expanded plugins - Do you need to add users across the entire cluster? Do you need to know who is logged into the cluster? Want an "X" terminal to any of your compute nodes? Need to run Myrinet tests to validate the payload channel? Need a "single piece of glass" model? ABC 2.0 turns repetitive written tasks into point-n-click actions.

  • New splash screen - Don't want to think too hard about the state of your cluster? A quick look at the splash screen will tell a cluster administrator whether the cluster nodes are operating within nominal values or whether they need to start triage.

  • Support for heterogeneous cluster nodes - Did you buy a cluster last year and now you want to add new nodes, but the motherboards that were purchased are no longer available? Maybe you want to try a different motherboard provider? No problem. ABC 2.0 will support clusters that have different types of compute nodes.

  • Expanded e-mail notification for downed nodes and system traps - Do you want the e-mail list to be composed of e-mail addresses to different domains? Don't want the sendmail daemon running on the cluster all the time because of security concerns? ABC 2.0 will deliver mail to a mail relay running sendmail or can deliver mail.

  • Multiple temperature scale support - Do you have enough on your mind without having to worry about Celsius to Fahrenheit conversions or vice versa? ABC 2.0 supports both temperature scales and can be switched back and forth without having to log out and back in.

  • Expanded node self-reporting statistics such as:

  • CPU speed: Are your CPU clock speeds inadvertently set below the max value for the processor?

    • Processor model: Are you not sure what processor model you have?

    • Motherboard type: Are you not sure what motherboard makes up a node?

    • Available memory: ABC 2.0 allows a booting node to report hardware attributes without having to go into the BIOS of the machine or configuring this information statically in the application.

  • Node monitoring reports individual CPU loads in addition to an aggregated CPU load - Do you want to know the load on each CPU? ABC 2.0 gives load averages on a per CPU basis.

  • Expanded package management functionality - Not an RPM expert? Don't worry, we are! Need to know what packages are installed across the cluster? Do you need to know if any packages have been modified? If so, when? Are all nodes running the same software? How do I check? How do I synchronize software across all my nodes in the cluster? How do I compare packages on the cluster to my RPM repository? With ABC 2.0, it's easy!

  • Poller enhancements - ABC 2.0 provides better scaling beyond 128 nodes. Exceptions handled more gracefully. Poll data rendering performance is no longer a function of the number of nodes in the cluster.

  • SNMP trap rendering sort and database purge capabilities - ABC 2.0 trap reporting capabilities have been enhanced to support sorting traps based upon date/time, node, trap type, who acknowledged a trap, or even purge old data? ABC 2.0 can now sort on column data and gives the cluster administrator the ability to delete unwanted traps out of the ABC 2.0 database.

  • Simplified installation - Have lots of nodes? Not motivated to type in the exact information across dozens of nodes? ABC 2.0 can now be installed across all nodes in the cluster from the admin control node. "The extensive capabilities of ABC 2.0 support the goals of Aspen Systems' target audience of scientists, engineers and researchers within government, education and industry." Stated Steve Spring, CEO of Aspen Systems. "The target audience's time and resources are extremely valuable and any time, money or effort not spent in direct support of their mission has negative impacts and consequences. Therefore, Aspen Systems provides a powerful management tool that is critical to the operation of a Beowulf cluster in order to accelerate research, discovery and problem solving."

Aspen Systems ABC 2.0 is available immediately. Pricing for ABC starts as low as $100 per node. To learn more about ABC 2.0, to receive a demo or to purchase ABC 2.0, contact an Aspen Systems sales engineer toll free (US & Canada only) at 800-992-9242 or 303-431-4606 or visit Aspen Systems on the Internet at

About ABC

ABC is a true interactive cluster management tool that enables remote monitoring and management to the cluster from anywhere in the world. The ABC Software Management system is an umbrella of tools and utilities designed to manage, control and operate a Beowulf cluster from a single integrated application.

About Aspen Systems

Aspen Systems, Inc., a privately held corporation, has been serving the high-performance, technical computing community with expertise in custom computer hardware design, manufacturing and service for over 20 years. Their expertise includes a variety of high-performance technical computing disciplines with emphasis on serving the needs of advanced technical computing users and corporations that use the most demanding applications. Aspen Systems has built their reputation, as a leading provider of Beowulf clustering solutions by offering multiple configurations with a choice of processors and connectivity for specific performance needs. First class technical support and state-of-the-art products allows Aspen Systems to create and support the high-performance solutions that customers in the Weather Modeling, Financial Modeling, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Bio-tech, and Geophysics Research fields (among other compute-intensive parallel markets) demand. For more information about Aspen Systems, visit their web site at


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