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Virtual Clusters on the Fly - Fast, Scalable, and Flexible Installation

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3 Author(s)
Hideo Nishimura ; Tokyo Institute of Technology ; Naoya Maruyama ; Satoshi Matsuoka

One of the advantages in virtualized computing clusters compared to traditional shared HPC environments is their ability to accommodate user-specific system customization. However, past attempts to providing virtual clusters are not scalable with increasing number of VMs, nor do they allow fine-grained customization of VMs, assuming that preconfigured VM images are always available on the grid. We propose a new virtual cluster installation technique that achieves efficiency and scalability, and yet simultaneously fine-grained customizability. It allows the user to create VMs on the fly for fine-grained customization of VMs, and pipelined data transfer for scalable installation with increasing number of VMs. To achieve efficiency in the presence of such full customization, it automatically caches frequently-constructed virtual disk images to save software installation time in common cases. Our experimental studies using a prototype implementation show that installation of a 190-node virtual cluster can be done in 40 seconds. From this result along with a scalability study, we estimate that installation of a 1000-node virtual cluster could be done in less than two minutes.

Published in:

Seventh IEEE International Symposium on Cluster Computing and the Grid (CCGrid '07)

Date of Conference:

14-17 May 2007