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Bright Cluster Manager - Advanced Linux Cluster Features

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Advanced Features

Bright Cluster Manager® is a unique cluster management software solution because it is suitable for both small and large clusters. Ease-of-use is key for all clusters, yet large and complex clusters also need advanced features such as scalability, redundancy and flexibility.

Designed for Scalability

Bright Cluster Manager was designed to scale to thousands of nodes. The cluster management daemon (CMDaemon) is at the heart of Bright and was designed with scalability as primary requirement. The CMDaemon provides all core cluster management functionalities and is therefore not dependent on third-party software that may not have been designed for a high level of scalability.

Management Daemon with Low CPU Overhead

The cluster management daemon (CMDaemon) runs on every node in the cluster, yet has a very low CPU load — it will not cause any noticeable slow-down of the applications running on your cluster.

Because the CMDaemon provides all cluster management functionality, the only additional daemon required is the workload manager (or queuing system) daemon. For example, no daemons for monitoring tools such as Ganglia or Nagios are required. This minimizes the overall load of cluster management software on your cluster.

Multiple Load-Balancing Provisioning Nodes

Node provisioning — the distribution of software from the head node to the regular nodes — can be a significant bottleneck in large clusters. With Bright Cluster Manager, provisioning capability can be off-leaded to regular nodes, ensuring scalability to a virtually unlimited number of nodes.

When a node requests its software image from the head node, the head node checks which of the nodes with provisioning capability has the lowest load and instructs the node to download or update its image from that provisioning node.

Synchronized Cluster Management Daemons

The CMDaemons are synchronized in time to execute tasks in exact unison. This minimizes the effect of operating system jitter (OS jitter) on parallel applications. OS jitter is the "noise" or "jitter" caused by daemon processes and asynchronous events such as interrupts. OS jitter cannot be totally prevented, but for parallel applications it is important that any OS jitter occurs at the same moment in time on every compute node.

Built-In Redundancy

Bright Cluster Manager supports redundant head nodes and redundant provisioning nodes that can take over from each other in case of failure. Both automatic and manual failover configurations are supported.

Other redundancy features include support for hardware and software RAID on all types of nodes in the cluster.

Diskless & InfiniBand-only Nodes

Bright Cluster Manager supports diskless nodes, which can be useful to increase overall Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), particularly on large clusters. Nodes with only InfiniBand and no Ethernet connection are possible too.

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