Singularities in docked Sandboxes ... and more

Container technology is one of the big IT hypes these days. While we at Q-Leap are not under suspicion to tune into the "containers will save the world" mantra, we definitely believe they add a nice additional tool to the workbench of any admin. So why not make use of it?

For a long time, we thought it should be much simpler to have a serious look at Qlustar and in particular its management framework QluMan. So as a starter for the container debut in the Qlustar world, we created the QluMan Sandbox. It's a public docker image with a ready-to-run cluster management sandbox supplemented by a second image providing the QluMan GUI, ready to connect to the sandbox. Hey, that means you get to test QluMan by executing just a few commands, basically:

$ docker run <args> qlustar/qluman-sandbox
$ docker run <args> qlustar/qluman

The HPC crowd needed a while to come to grips with support for running jobs inside of containers. Docker isn't really designed for such workloads. But now simple and practicable solutions have emerged. The most promising tool for this scenario is Singularity. It makes it really simple for non-privileged HPC users to run their applications packed up into a container image, as if it was just an ordinary program.

We are now supporting Singularity by adding packages for it to the standard Qlustar repositories, Using it becomes as simple as

$ apt-get install singularity-container

Last but not least, note that a Singularity container image with the QluMan GUI is also available now on our Download page. This makes it really easy to start the GUI as a non-root user on any machine with Singularity installed:

$ singularity exec <path to qluman.img> qluman-qt