Virtualization

currently in production, Jan '07

The TIG maintained cluster resources will be hosted as Xen virtual hosts. Virtualizing compute resources is a somewhat unusual move, but CSAIL has some unique features that make it desirable to have this level of flexibility.

Certain groups (you know who you are) have need of custom-configured sets of systems for relatively brief periods. Clearly needing a burst of compute power for 4-6 weeks out of the year doesn't justify buying a private cluster. Using Xen the node state can be saved and rebooted and the processor and memory resources dynamically allocated and deallocated.

The ability to migrate running systems between physical pieces of hardware and to reboot systems that were running on failed hardware immediately on other hardware are added bonuses for load balancing and availability and I'm sure someone will come up with a novel use ephemeral systems.

The basic node will consist of 1 virtual CPU and 2-4G of RAM though multi-way nodes can be created for special purposes up to the number of CPU cores in the physical host system (could emulate more but why?).

-- JonProulx - 14 Feb 2007
Topic revision: 14 Feb 2007, JonProulx
 

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