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Moab Grid Suite Advances Resource Control

Cluster Resources Inc. announced the release of Moab Grid Suite 4.5, its new Grid management solution that lets organizations consolidate management of multiple clusters to create usable, affordable Grids while maintaining local cluster sovereignty.

Many large-scale Grid sites trust Moab for their Grid creation and management, consolidating local clusters into Grids and connecting to remote resources throughout the world. Moab-based Grids allow them to reduce management overhead, improve job responsiveness and utilize the fine grained control and ease-of-use that Moab provides.

Moab reduces the barriers to enabling Grid computing so organizations can focus on getting the most out of their compute resources. Moab gives organizations the capabilities they need to create a useful, productive Grid across the resources they already own and scales to allow plenty of room to grow. Its flexible and robust policy engine provides solutions to the political problems that come with sharing resources. With its integrated design, Moab makes it simple to go from independent multiple clusters to a high-performance Grid.

While many of the industry's Grid solutions are only compatible with limited resources, Moab can unify multiple heterogeneous software and hardware environments. Moab can work on top of multiple resource managers ( LSF, PBS Pro, TORQUE, LoadLeveler, SLURM, BProc, etc. ), operating systems ( Linux, Unix, Mac, Windows, etc. ) and hardware ( SMP machines, 32-bit, 64-bit, etc. ). This allows organizations with multiple clusters the freedom to move to a Grid while leveraging all of their existing infrastructure.

Moab Grid Suite ensures that even completely heterogeneous systems are highly utilized by intelligently assigning the best-suited hardware to each job. With optimized job and data migration and integrated user and file mapping facilities, users can take advantage of the Grid with virtually no change in submission habits. Moab also tracks both network and storage limitations when making Grid scheduling decisions to better guarantee successful job execution and optimized Grid-level performance.

Moab eliminates the need to change existing cluster policies, underlying resource managers, job scripts and other cluster-specific configurations. Moab's broad compatibility make it a viable option for organizations seeking to consolidate control over disparate cluster resources into a single flexible resource that can continue to apply previous usage controls while adding new, simplified Grid level management.

Challenges in creating a Grid often stem from reluctance of individual cluster management to give up control of resources. Moab Grid Suite makes resource sharing easy between multiple organizations through two methods. First, it allows administrators to maintain sovereignty over their own resources, even in a Grid environment. Second, Grids can be configured in different management styles, including traditional, centralized Grids where there is one central administrator who controls all Grid policies, and a new peer-to-peer Grid model where workload and resource status information can be exchanged and jobs and data can be migrated between trusted peers with any local applied policy. These Moab-unique capabilities let individual clusters maintain independence while still collaborating with the Grid at their desired level.

Moab's advanced policy engine allows organizations to guarantee its users a certain quality of service ( QoS ) and deliver it. Grid administrators can use Moab to automate policies or set user and group priorities so the highest priority jobs get done faster. Moab also provides organizations with reporting and billing tools so administrators can know exactly how much of the Grid's resources an organization used and, if desired, bill against the resulting information to help share costs fairly.

Moab's Virtual Private Cluster ( VPC ) feature lets administrators allocate a section of a cluster or Grid or a specific amount of resources to users or groups. These users or groups can then only view, track and allocate resources within their own VPC. The VPC can be used to give political groups the resources they demand while administrators maintain central control of all resources. Using this approach, individual clusters can participate in multiple Grids simultaneously with distinct rules of engagement for each Grid. With the political sharing features Moab provides, Grid organizations can assure local contributing groups that their needs will be met, without compromising the service delivered to other members of the Grid.

"While powerful, one of the highlights of Moab Grid Suite 4.5 is its incredible simplicity," said David Jackson, Cluster Resources' chief technology officer. "We have been doing Grids for a number of years and have found that one of the greatest barriers to Grid adoption is the fear associated with introducing an entirely new layer of software and complexity. With Moab Grid Suite, these issues are effectively eliminated. In many cases, a cluster can be rolled into a Grid in a matter of seconds with no new tools and no new training."

Moab Grid Suite provides features to simplify adoption including a Web access portal that lets users remotely submit and manage jobs through a graphical interface. Moab further simplifies grid computing by translating resource manager commands and scripts, reducing training for end-users and letting them work across multiple resource management environments with scripts knowledge they already have.

Moab makes management easier for administrators with its virtual view of resources that provides information on downed, idle and active nodes, eligible, running, on hold and blocked job status, as well as resource consumption information by user, project, organization or other groupings. Moab's in-depth reporting tools also allow administrators to view previous months' Grid activity, letting them create reports to see how a policy changed workload or to ensure users are receiving their agreed QoS. Moab's simplistic features help organizations set up Grids without lost productivity. It benefits organizations by reducing training time and letting them see what is really happening on their Grid.

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