2007-03 Newsletter

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Welcome to the third Grid'5000 newsletter.

The editorial team can be reached at newsletter-editors@lists.grid5000.fr, feel free to report comments.

You can find this newsletter online for easier reading : https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/2007-03_Newsletter

Community news

by Pierre Neyron

User audit feedback

End 2006, we launched an audit to study your usage of the platform and your needs. You were about 50 users to answer (only). The results are compiled in the following page: https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/2007-01-Audit. Feel free to have a look at it. Information have been taken into account and we hope to succeed in better addressing your needs in the future. Improvement includes:

  • OAR2: better isolation of the nodes, clean-up, control.
  • uniformised of resource management from site to site
  • and, we hope, more to come... (kadeploy, etc)

User tools catalog

Grid'5000 provides well known powerful tools operating at a "low" level. Those tools are basically OAR and Kadeploy. Higher level tools, such as enhanced user interfaces would be a real "plus" for the platform usage. One may think Grid'5000 project lacks development efforts on those aspects, nevertheless users among the community do develop some tools already, that address those needs.

Hence, we changed the https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/Grid5000:Software page so that any of you that is wanting to promote the tools he is developing and provide then to the community has a portal for that. This portal is furthermore part of Grid'5000 website public portal, enlightening the tools used on the platform outside Grid'5000 community.

Mailing list usage

Grid'5000 mailing lists were rethought. The following page: https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/Mailing_lists presents all mailing lists. Please have a look at it.

Three points worth an emphasis:

  • The creation of the list platform@lists.grid5000.fr that sorts platform events related mails out of the list users@lists.grid5000.fr.
  • The creation of the list devel@lists.grid5000.fr which any Grid'5000 user may subscribe to, and where technical discussions occur.
  • Archives are provided for all lists on the mailing list server web interface: http://lists.grid5000.fr

Keeping an eye on the platform

by David Margery

Routing between virtual machines,

even if on different sites. For those of you that are deploying virtual machines on Grid'5000, there has been a significant improvement in the network architecture of Grid'5000. A class of network addresses for virtual machines has been reserved on each site, that you can use as needed, and routing between sites has been enabled on the default gateways. You can ping virtual.<site>.grid5000.fr to check this. More details can be found on https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/Network_interlink#IP.27s_for_virtual_machines.

Multisite post-install scripts

Post-install script can now be written in a site independant way, thanks to what we call the prepost mechanism. Only the most advanced users should need to understand this mechanism, as the default post-install script available on each site and based on this mechanism should fit most needs. You can learn more on this page https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/Prepost, and learn to use this mechanism on this one : https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/Prepost_usage

Internet proxies

In theory, machines inside Grid'5000 should not be allowed to access machines outside Grid'5000. Of course, this general policy, implemented for security reasons (Grid'5000 should not become an attack vector), interferes with standard pratices such as fetching software updates from the internet. Therefore, a general web proxy architecture has been implemented, that should help guaranty that if you have access to a software repository from one site, you should have acces to it from all sites. Learn to set your images for this proxy architecture on the wiki (https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/Web_proxy_client).

default parallel shell on all sites

Taktuk has been installed on the default environements and on the head-nodes of each site, to help users run commands in parallel. Please refer to the tip of the month for more information on what taktuk is.

Kadeploy environment naming scheme

As from now, there is an official naming scheme for kadeploy environements made available to the users, so that you know what to expect from an environment simply by knowing its name. Please refer to https://www.grid5000.fr/mediawiki/index.php/Naming_environment for more details.

Tip of the month

by Pierre Lemoine

During an experience on G5k, you often want to run programs or scripts on all his nodes simultaneously, to get the data to the reserved nodes for example. This could be done sequentially with a loop function, but this method doesn't scale well. That's why a parallel launcher named TakTuk has been installed on each G5k site.


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