What is it?
Bright Computing has taken the unprecedented step of making its market leading, commercially-developed software free for clusters up to 8 nodes, allowing organizations to reap the benefits of a mature commercial cluster management system at no charge. We believe that when organizations are liberated from the challenges of building and maintaining clustered infrastructure, they can serve their users better, innovate faster and outmaneuver their competition.
How do I get it?
How do I get help?
Easy8 users will be able to access Bright's BEACON user community in lieu of commercial support. BEACON is an online community where Bright users can access Bright Knowledge Base articles, links to trainings, and ask questions to other Bright users as they come up to speed on deploying and managing Bright clusters.
To join the community, simply go to here and create a customer account. With your login credentials, you will be able to access BEACON and join other Bright users in sharing the wealth of information accumulated over 10 years and thousands of deployments worldwide.
Why is Bright doing it?
The stage is set for high performance Linux clusters to become the cornerstone of corporate datacenters, well beyond their origins for modeling & simulation applications in the high-performance computing market. Artificial intelligence and data analytics applications require Linux clusters, private clouds require Linux clusters, container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes require Linux clusters, collections of distributed edge computing servers are effectively a Linux cluster, and so on.
Linux clusters are inherently complex to build, troubleshoot and maintain with hundreds to thousands of discrete compute, storage and networking elements that must all work in unison. Building a cluster management system using a collection of open source tools and home-grown scripts takes time and effort, requires experienced staff, requires on-going maintenance, slows innovation, reduces IT agility and adds zero strategic value to your business.
-Bill Wagner, CEO
A “perfect storm” is developing around Linux clusters necessitating an easier approach to building and maintaining them:
- High-performance Linux clusters are becoming increasingly pervasive, driven by machine learning, data analytics, the creation of private cloud and growth in traditional HPC
- In the mature HPC market, the availability of experienced staff to build and maintain HPC clusters continues to decrease as knowledgeable staff retire or change positions
- The high cost of sustained use of public clouds in high-performance computing is causing organizations to pursue hybrid clustered infrastructure spanning on-premise and cloud
- Industries with no prior experience in HPC – now thrust into it via A.I. – lack the know-how to build and maintain the high-performance clusters they now need
- Organizations graduating their A.I. programs from the proof-of-concept phase to the scale-out production phase must now grapple with the realities of cluster management
- Organizations that see broad need for high-performance clusters offered as “on demand” are starting to build HPCaaS private clouds in their datacenters
- The race to harness the potential of high-performance clusters to drive innovation via A.I., HPC and data analytics is creating urgency that requires an immediate cluster management solution
- Over the last few years, Bright’s business has shifted steadily towards increasingly larger clusters making it possible to now offer Bright Cluster Manager at no charge for small clusters.
- Bright recently announced the availability of “BEACON”, a free, user-led Bright community where organizations can go to ask questions, access technical resources and collaborate with other Bright users. With Beacon now in place, organizations using the Easy8 version of Bright Cluster Manager have a place to go for free technical assistance.
Restrictions (the fine print)
Bright Cluster Manager software for free with the following restrictions:
- Clusters are 8 nodes or less
- Operating Systems supported are: CentOS, SUSE, Ubuntu.
- Support is only available thru BEACON the Bright User Community portal (community.brightcomputing.com)
- Licenses are issued for one-year and renewable in one year increments.
- Users that desire more than 8 nodes, or want Bright software with Bright maintenance and support, will buy a normal subscription license for every node in the cluster.
What about extending to the cloud?
The first thing to understand is Bright Cluster Manager can help you easily extend your cluster to the cloud. Bright installation wizards for both AWS and Azure help make this setup straightforward. Second, a Bright software license does not distinguish between an on-premise node or a node in the cloud. If you have 4 on-premise servers and you want to extend an additional 4 nodes in the cloud, that is just a matter of setting up those 4 nodes to access AWS or Azure. The license simply limits you to 8 nodes.
Can I have more than 8 nodes if they are in the cloud?
With this free license it is possible to have more than a total of 8 nodes in the cloud, but it requires you to be on version 9.0 of Bright Cluster Manager or later. With 9.0, you can access nodes beyond what you are licensed for (ie. beyond the 8 free nodes) in the cloud, but your cloud provider will bill you for the use of Bright Software on those additional nodes. The charge is a per hour price for each additional node and is included as part of your monthly bill from your cloud provider.
If you prefer to be on an earlier version, this cloud-based billing of hours used is not supported so you are limited to just 8 nodes (either on-premise, in the cloud, or a combination).
What if I want 9 nodes or more?
If you need to build a cluster with more than 8 nodes, you will need to buy a subscription for the full number of nodes for your cluster (i.e., you would need to buy a subscription license for all 9 nodes).
Is OpenStack included?
No. OpenStack can be fairly complicated to deploy and should only be done with Bright support. This program does not offer access to the Bright support team, so OpenStack is not included in the program.
What about existing clusters that are 8 nodes or less? Can I take advantage of this free program?
Up until the introduction of this program, Bright did not offer any subscription licenses that did not include support. So any small clusters that you may currently have, are subscriptions with support. In the future, when it is time to renew your subscription, you can choose to renew without support (so long as the cluster is 8 nodes or less) at no charge.
Is the free license for Bright software perpetual, or does it expire?
This program provides for a license of Bright Cluster Manager for software for up to 8 nodes for a period of one year. At the end of that year, or sooner, you can renew that license for another year at no charge and continue to renew it for as long as you like. Should you decide to grow your cluster beyond 8 nodes, or would like to purchase a subscription with support, you can do that at any time and the paid subscription will commence upon activation of the paid license. We typically sell our software through are worldwide network of OEM’s and reseller partners, of whom we can put you in contact, or if you prefer, you can buy directly from Bright.