Bright streamlines the creation of clusters in Amazon Web Services


We’ve been writing about many of the great features of Version 7.3 of Bright Cluster Manager software, but I have to say that revamping our Amazon Web Services (AWS) integration is high on my list of improvements. It’s now far easier to deploy the AWS cluster extension and Cluster on Demand capabilities of Bright Cluster Manager. We’ve even added the ability to create multiple clusters on demand in parallel.

AWS_blog_1.jpgPerhaps the most significant change is that we now focus on AWS’s EC2-VPC environment, which provides much more advanced and secure networking environment. When we first released AWS cluster extension functionality nearly 4 years ago, it was integrated only with the AWS EC2-Classic environment. It’s easy to get started with, and easy to use. However, over time as users grew comfortable with EC2-Classic  they started demanding various more advanced and more secure features. To address those needs, we integrated with AWS’s EC2-VPC environment. But at that point users still first had to go through one wizard to configure the cluster to extend to the EC2-Classic, and then, optionally, a second wizard to upgrade that configuration to work with the EC2-VPC environment.

These days almost all of our users run their workloads entirely within EC2-VPC. With the introduction of Version 7.3, we cut the cord with EC2-Classic. We replaced the old configuration wizards and utilities with a single streamlined wizard and utilities that focus on cluster extensions to EC2-VPC. In addition, we’ve also made our entire EC2-VPC integration much more accessible, thus leaving no room for excuses to still use the legacy EC2-Classic environment.

We know there are still a few people out there using the older environment, but we recommend that users start using EC2-VPC for all new deployments. AWS is rapidly phasing EC2-Classic out and dedicating fewer and fewer resources to support it. What will switching to EC2-VPC mean for you? If you have virtual machines running within your own networking environment, you can rest assured that only YOU have access to them. Plus, you get more fine-grained control over the network environment; you control routing cables, access control lists (ACLs) and the like. What’s more, you can create multi-tiered environments more easily. For example, you could create separate environments for a web server and the backend data used by the first tier. It’s also easier to create highly available applications that are distributed across multiple availability.

A few more improvements:

  • We’ve renamed and updated “cm-cloud-setup” (the command-line interface (CLI) tool for conf. cluster extension), to “cm-cluster-extension.” The tool is now more consistent with other tools, like cm-openstack-setup, and provides a similar user experience.
  • We’ve added a “cm-cluster-on-demand-aws” CLI tool, so end users can easily spin up an entire cluster (or even several of them) in AWS inside of a VPC. The tool creates the VPC, the subnets, and the cluster itself.  Cluster on Demand for AWS is not a new feature; we have been supporting it for quite some time. What is new is the CLI that streamlines the creation of the cluster in AWS. In the past, end users could do this manually, using an AWS web console. While you can still go the manual route, the new tool makes it easier and faster, and in a easily reproducible way.

EU_flag_7751.pngThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 711315 Bright Beyond HPC