Open Source Clustering Tools get update

The OSCAR working group has released a new version of the Open Source Cluster Application Resources (OSCAR) toolkit, OSCAR 5.0.

OSCAR is a software package that supports the use of high-performance computing by reducing the work of cluster configuration, installation, operation, and management.

The infrastructure underlying OSCAR 5.0 has been completely reworked to include smart package managers, yum based image building and package installs, easier client updating by using a repository based approach, and optimized start ups to reduce build time.

Another long anticipated feature added in 5.0 is the ability to support multiple Linux distributions and architectures on the same cluster.

Many other improvements to the OSCAR infrastructure, including better prerequisite handling and pre-installation system configuration checking, should make installation smoother than ever.

Less time is wasted downloading packages for installation types which are not of interest, due to a shift to modular distribution tarbals.

A new utility called netbootmgr greatly reduces the amount of time spent mucking about in the BIOS by centrally managing a nodes behavior when a network boot is detected.

You can easily switch nodes from accepting new images to booting off their local hard drive and back again from an easy to use interface.

Node Image deployment is also faster and easier to keep track of with new, scalable bittorrent deployment options and an improved deployment monitor.

A new 2.6.18.1 deployment kernel for systemimager means improved hardware support, and the newly redesigned "Use Your Own Kernel" functionality means better support for bleeding edge equipment and customized kernels.

The packages included with OSCAR 5.0 have been updated, including Maui 3.2.6p14, Torque 2.0.0p8, LAM MPI 7.1.2, MPICH 1.2.7, and Ganglia 3.0.3. OpenMPI 1.1.1 and Sun Grid Engine (SGE) 6.0u8 are also now included as core packages.

Looking toward future releases, a new package and database structure was designed to prepare OSCAR for Debian support. OSCAR 5.0 has been fully tested for use with both IA32 processors and x86_64 processors under Fedora Core 4 & 5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0, Scientific Linux 4, and CentOS 4. Mandrivia 2006 and SuSE Linux 10.0 (OpenSuSE) were also tested for IA32.

OSCAR 5.0, previous OSCAR versions, and additional information about the OSCAR project are available from the OSCAR web site: http://oscar.openclustergroup.org