Platform and Servers Management
We rely on a set of open-source software and frameworks to operate the platforms and the services attached or complementary to the UL HPC systems, namely:
- Puppet and Ansible configuration management
- FAI, Bright Computing and BlueBanquise for OS deployment.
The new Aion cluster relies on Ansible to configure its core components.
Ansible is a radically simple IT automation engine that automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and many other IT needs.
Designed for multi-tier deployments since day one, Ansible models your IT infrastructure by describing how all of your systems inter-relate, rather than just managing one system at a time.
It uses no agents and no additional custom security infrastructure, so it’s easy to deploy - and most importantly, it uses a very simple language (YAML, in the form of Ansible Playbooks) that allow you to describe your automation jobs in a way that approaches plain English. For more detail, hop over to https://docs.ansible.com.
Puppet is an open source configuration management tool from
Puppet Labs designed to manage the configuration of
Unix-like and Microsoft Windows systems declaratively.
The user describes system resources and their state, either using Puppet’s declarative language or a Ruby DSL (domain-specific language). This information is stored in files called “Puppet manifests”. Puppet discovers the system information via a utility called Facter, and compiles the Puppet manifests into a system-specific catalog containing resources and resource dependency, which are applied against the target systems. Any actions taken by Puppet are then reported.
We have defined a distributed Puppet infrastructure which currently manages servers (in addition to the computing nodes composing the ULHPC facility).
FAI (Fully Automatic Installation)
FAI is a non-interactive system used to install, customize and manage Linux systems and software configurations on computers as well as virtual machines and chroot environments, from small networks to large-scale infrastructures like clusters and cloud environments. It’s a tool for unattended mass deployment of Linux. We use it to deploy the computing nodes of the different node classes that compose the UL HPC platform.
The different steps that intervene during a FAI deployment are depicted below: