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Since clusters were first introduced, node counts have increased rapidly. Currently, a variety of clusters with more than one thousand nodes are listed on the TOP500 list. In the next three years, clusters with more than four thousand nodes are expected. Cluster management functionality has lagged behind all areas of system software. In order to effectively manage the clusters of today and tomorrow, the basic cluster management software model must change. Current techniques focus on the management of single nodes, as opposed to complete cluster configurations. This approach typically leads to automatic management of compute nodes, while using ad-hoc techniques to manage service nodes. Configuration management is the process where software configurations on clients are installed, updated and verified. To address these issues, we have begun the development of BCFG, a symbolic configuration management tools for heterogeneous clusters. It uses a multi-tiered configuration description.
Date of Conference: 1-4 Dec. 2003