Sunday Sep 28, 2008

Sun xVM Ops Center at TACC

In a previous blog, I talked about xVM Ops Center's early deployment at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in Austin, Texas. When we first started at TACC, late last year, we deployed xVM Ops Center 1.0 Early Access (EA) version. Recently, we upgraded to Ops Center 1.1.1 at TACC.

Ops Center monitors the 3936 four-socket blades of the TACC supercomputer known as Ranger. Physically, the compute blades occupy 82 racks that are spread across 6 aisles. Dongju Choi at TACC wrote a set of scripts that extract sensor data every 15 minutes from Ops Center and then plots it against a 2D matrix that represents the physical layout of Ranger. Thanks DJ !

Attached are some sample charts that show system fan speed (per blade) and system temperature (averaged per rack). Pretty neat !




Wednesday May 21, 2008

xVM Ops Center at KISTI

In March 2007, Sun Korea was selected as the vendor to provide Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) for the fourth supercomputer project at KISTI (Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information). I understand this project will be completed in 2 phases. When both phases are completed, this supercomputer at KISTI will be the largest in Asia.  Recently, I found out that Phase 1 is completed and the system will go into production after completion of the remaining stability tests.

Now, here is the cool thing. With TACC, Sun built the largest supercomputer in America  and with KISTI, we will repeat that feat in Asia !!

And guess what, both supercomputers have xVM Ops Center in their software stack, to manage the compute nodes. The scale managed by xVM Ops Center in these two HPC supercomputer projects is vastly different though. At TACC, the number of compute nodes is a little shy of 4000 blades housed in 82 Sun Constellation (C48) racks, whereas at KISTI in Phase 1, we have four C48 racks that amount to 188 compute nodes.

 

 

Monday Feb 25, 2008

Blades management with Sun xVM Ops Center

Recently we put together a cool demo of Sun xVM Ops Center's Sun Blade 6000 management capabilities for a large HPC financial customer. The demo showcased Ops Center's full suite of lifecycle management capabilities with X6250 blades including discovery, lights-out management such as power and locator lights cycling, firmware upgrade and provisioning of Solaris 10 Update 4 operating system.

Other really cool aspects in the demo are features not available in Sun's previous Systems Management product. Most notably among them are:

  • Firmware upgrade thru the "Compliance" feature of Sun xVM Ops Center. This "compliance report" feature in firmware provisioning brings a high degree of automation in the not-so-glamorous but critical step of server lifecycle management in data centers, i.e., firmware provisioning.
  • OS provisioning by leveraging Jumpstart thru JET (Jumpstart Enterprise Toolkit). Enabling serial port for remote console during OS provisioning and grabbing MAC addresses off managed nodes to facilitate OS provisioning are other features in the demo that the customer was interested in.

If you are at Immersion Week , you should check this demo out at the two BOF sessions on Monday and Thursday evenings. If you can't make it to immersion week, no sweat. We are working on getting a richer version of this blades management demo to a Sun Solution Center near you.

Hope you like it.

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