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Qlustar: Install and enjoy!

Qlustar: A next-generation HPC Cluster OS

Qlustar is a new contender among public HPC cluster operating systems (OS). Its core is a lightweight modular Compute-Node kernel that is generated using a 3rd-generation image generator. The latter is designed such that OS images contain the exact minimum of programs/files needed for the desired functionality.

Images are modular, composed of a core and optional modules for additional functionality (e.g. support for different batch queuing systems, Infiniband, parallel filesystems, High-Availability or GPU support, etc.). They run completely in RAM and typically have a size of approx. 100-200MB (core image < 100MB). Image modules are installed as regular OS packages, their content being fully versioned.

  • Controlled updates of running nodes to new image versions happen in seconds without rebooting.
  • Diskless clusters are naturally supported by design.
  • Despite of booting an image, all software of the used Linux distribution is accessible on the nodes via an innovative unionfs mechanism.
  • Cluster configuration is extremely flexible and customizable.

Qlustar as a whole is a complete Linux distribution based on Debian® and Ubuntu®. It provides it's own software repositories with 150+ additional up-to-date software packages relevant to HPC (e.g. different MPI variants in different versions for various compilers, monitoring tools, etc.). Powerful management and monitoring software ensures administrators keep the control of their systems.

How does it work in practice:
  • Basic installation of Headnodes
  • Selection of optional HPC components
  • Installation of desired Qlustar image modules
  • Configuration of Cluster Properties via management tools
  • Registration of compute/storage nodes.
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