The provisioning of software images to nodes is a key task of any cluster management platform. Powerful and flexible node provisioning and software image management are essential to cluster installation and management, especially for larger and more complex clusters


The sophisticated node provisioning and image management system in Bright Cluster Manager® allows you to do the following:

  • 1Install individual nodes or complete clusters from bare metal within minutes. This applies to OpenStack private clouds in addition to HPC clusters.
  • Create, manage and use as many software images as required.
  • Create, manage and use images that are very different (for example, based on different Linux kernels, distributions of Linux, or hardware architectures).
  • Create or change images substantially without breaking compatibility with application software.
  • Assign images to individual nodes or groups of nodes with a single command or mouse click.
  • Make changes to node images on the head node, without having to login to regular nodes.
  • Synchronize a regular node image on the head node from a hard disk on a regular node.
  • Apply package manager-specific commands to software images, manually or automatically (for example, using Yum).
  • Update images incrementally, only transferring changes to the nodes.
  • Update images live, without having to reboot nodes.
  • Configure how disks should be partitioned (optionally using software RAID and/or LVM ).
  • Protect disks or disk partitions from being overwritten.
  • Provision images to memory and run nodes diskless.
  • Use revision control to keep track of changes to node images.
  • Return to a previously stored node image if and when required.
  • Backup all node images by backing up only the head node.
  • Automatically update BIOS images or change BIOS configurations without keyboard or console access to the nodes.

2Bright Cluster Manager Advanced Edition expands these capabilities to very large clusters, by using multiple, load-balanced provisioning nodes that can share load and take over from each other in case of hardware failure.


The Role of the Cluster Management Daemon, GUI and Shell

The cluster management daemon (CMDaemon) plays a central role in the coordination of the node provisioning process. It ensures that all required information is available to the head node and regular nodes, and that all required steps are taken in the correct order. It also takes corrective action if something goes wrong in the provisioning process.

All commands for initiating related actions or modifying configuration information can be issued through Bright View or the cluster management shell.