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HPC puppet brings flexibility to the Cloud HPC

3. 2. 2014 / Industry Arctur has developed the HPC Puppet – a tool that helps system integrators to faster and easily reconfigure HPC systems to meet the user demands.

We are living in a time where the line between HPC and Cloud is getting more and more blurred. We have more cases of using HPC in the Cloud and vice versa – high computing demands for cloud applications. A modern computing center can also be successful on the market only if it is able to quickly respond to user demands. This means that system administrators must have an effective tool for fast reconfiguration between a HPC system and Cloud environments.

The Puppet automatically takes care that all the servers inside a pool of resources are configured in a homogenous and consistent way. The puppet works on a principle of recipes. Individual recipes automatically configure the operating system, network properties and user applications. This means that with the aid of the puppet system administrators can easily and effectively switch between different roles that the servers have. Administrators can also write their own recipes that are intended for their specific infrastructure or they can just reconfigure already existing recipes. Grueling configurations and upgrading of individual servers is a thing of the past and it is replaced by work through one simple interface. The Puppet has also integrated the option to use the easybuild tool. This enables to build and configure source code alongside the deployment of a new recipe.

The Puppet was developed with the aid of the Institute Jožef Stefan. The development was also partly financed by the Slovenian ministry of education, sciences and sports. The project also saw the cooperation with Dr. Andrej Filipčič, an acclaimed specialist in the field of High Performance Computing and one of the leading researchers in the Atlas project which helped in the proof of the Higgs boson and was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics.

The HPC Puppet can be set-up on all server systems. The prerequisites for installation are only minor adjustments of some security and network characteristics. It can be deployed on all kind of Cloud and HPC systems - public, private or hybrid. Along the homogenization and simplification of the system the puppet also brings time savings and easier and more dynamic configuration.

The HPC puppet is freely available on GitHub, the open-source portal under a GNU-GPL license. The tool will therefore always be free for all. Arctur’ s primary intention is to expand the use of the tool. Of course Arctur is always available for help and user support. With the publication on GitHub the development is not finished. Arctur will of course take care of the upkeep and upgrades of tried and tested new versions.

The HPC puppet is available on the GiHub address: https://github.com/Arctur/hpc-puppet

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