How? Use the Intel Cluster Ready Program as your guide.
An Intel team established 20 evaluation criteria for the ICR Program, and produced a guide to help make the right choice. The guide is a great decision-making tool as the 20 criteria span the breadth and depth of the HPC components stack by considering:
- Support - for Linux distros, middleware (e.g., workload managers), HPC tools (e.g., compilers) and libraries (e.g., MPI, math), cloud utilization as well as the management solution itself
- Scalability - especially as constrained by the management solution
- Provisioning - image vs. package vs. hybrid methods for disk-less as well as disk-based deployments
- Configuration - to include interconnect fabrics and workload managers, plus persistent storage of configuration data
- Customization - to easily incorporate and manage third-party software
- UIs - to include both command-line interfaces as well as GUIs that provide parallel shells as a built-in capability
- Monitoring - from the cluster itself, to jobs being executed by the workload-management system
- AAA services - including user administration and hierarchical access control
- Pricing - licensing and/or other criteria that detail financial aspects of the management solution
Each of the 20 criteria is assigned a `weight’ that reflects its importance resulting in a set of requirements for evaluating cluster-management solutions.
The Intel team used this framework to evaluate five candidate solutions for cluster management. You can use their report to set up your own formalized process – based upon weighted criteria – to evaluate candidate cluster management solutions.