"We selected Bright Cluster Manager for its intuitive interface, ease of use and responsive support", stated Dr. Moucha. "Previously we used Rocks."
"I don't have days to search community news sites and HPC user message boards for fixes to broken open source tools. I need something where I could get support within 24 hours", continued Dr. Moucha. "My success is measured by my published results, and the educational experience of our students and graduate students. I am not measured on cluster management - but our cluster does have to work."
The department's cluster runs proprietary research applications and MATLAB on a combination of Intel Xeon E5 processors and NVIDIA GPUs. Dr. Moucha was attracted to the ease of managing mixed CPU and GPU environments, which he found to be far easier with Bright than with open source toolkits. "Bright makes sure you have the right drivers on the GPU and CPU nodes, so you don't have to even think about it." Bright's intuitive GUI gives complete visibility to all aspects of the cluster, making it fast and easy to identify and rectify system problems.
Dr. Moucha also liked the development packages available with Bright Cluster Manager, and how easily Bright works with HPC compiler suites from The Portland Group, Intel and others.
Dr. Moucha feels a strong sense of urgency to produce results. He and the rest of Syracuse University's Earth Sciences team keeps to a tight research schedule so it can be accountable for the National Science Foundation grant money. Using Bright to manage their cluster instead of Rocks enables Dr. Moucha to spend a lot more of his time on his research and teaching.
"I have to produce", stated Dr. Moucha. "Publishing is very important in able to secure grants. And, like most assistant professors, I'm on a tenure track. I need to meet key objectives within five years. Managing the cluster isn't one of those objectives."
The department's cluster was built by Bright partner Nor-tech, a system integrator that provides significant value-add beyond building clusters tightly tuned to their customers' requirements, including high reliability features, extensive pre-configuration and testing.