[Beowulf] Web interfaces for yer cluster.

Kozin, I (Igor) i.kozin at dl.ac.uk
Fri Oct 26 07:30:56 EDT 2007


> really?  is it that the can't scrape up enough unix-able people
> to keep their clusters busy?  (I would want to know why - for
instance,
> do they build clusters that are too small to be interesting, or
somehow
> hard to use?  note that it doesn't take much *nix literacy at all to 
> get along great - mainly it's an issue of whether the user is offended
> by anything non-mouse-driven.)

The idea behind this strategy is that if you make your HPC centre
accessible to a large and diverse user community you will be less
susceptible to (minor) problems in your financial support stream since
you broaden up your options. 

> there have been many systems which aim to reduce real apps to basic
> <button>compute!</button> interface.  I've never quite understood why
> they're so seductive, since that level of automation is mainly
justified 
> if you really do wind up pressing the button very frequently.

There are a number of scientific applications with rather well developed
GUIs which are really useful and portable. The next obvious thing to do
is to integrate somehow the GUI with a job manager. I'm not talking here
about interactive steering where such a link is vital. I'm talking about
an interface where you compose your job, submit it and view the result,
and I'm not sure whether a web interface is ideal for this. Some have
done this already, others are still thinking but it would be still worth
the effort to come up with a common API for such programs to use. 

> PBS, Cluster Resources, and LSF all have some type of web portal where
you > can do some of these things. Of course they are commercial and
sometimes 
> not always the most flexible.

Do they expose some sort of API as well?

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