[Beowulf] Web interfaces to clusters

Dr. M. F. Somers m.somers at chem.leidenuniv.nl
Mon Oct 29 02:51:02 PDT 2007

Dear Andrew and others,

we too here in Leiden have such an initiative and are allready deploying our 
system for some of our user groups. We created a general web based grid 
service that allows you to hook in any application on a cluster. Our 
infrastructure is "application based" and if your users only use a few apps, 
you might find it rather usefull. 

The users now interact to a grid of clusters through, perhaps a basic 
interface on the web, or through a more advanced java app or i.e. on the 
command line like I prefer to do so ;-).

The infrastructure uses x509 certificates for security and is implemented 
using Apache, MySQL and PHP on the web server side with a c++ coded daemon 
running in userspace (not as root but as a cluster user!) using the STL with 
libCURL on the cluster (grid resource) itself. It shouldn't be to hard for a 
regular sysadmin to install and maintain that for the few relevant 
applications your users tend to use...

If you are interested, we are about to test run programs like VASP, Gaussian 
and ADF on our own clusters through this infrastructure somewere this month. 
Currently we have the infrastructure already running on two of our own 
clusters, two national supercomputers in the Netherlands (without even having 
to have had root privileges or asking any administrator anything ;-p), on a 
few laptops and my own test machine. It runs a 'hello world' hooking into 
Torque / PBS, Load Leveler or just forks the executable.

More information can be found at http://fwnc7003.leidenuniv.nl/LGI/docs where 
you can find a presentation I gave last month in Leiden and Amsterdam and the 
original design / work document I wrote to keep me from forgetting all the 
details ;-). At http://fwnc7003.leidenuniv.nl/LGI/daemon you can browse 
through the deamon source code and if you want I can send you a personal test 
certificate with a key (PKCS12) so you can use your browser to browse through 
the basic web interface at https://fwnc7003.leidenuniv.nl/LGI/basic_interface

Oh on http://fwnc7003.leidenuniv.nl/LGI/docs/screen_shots you can see  
screenshots of the basic interface and the command line interface in 
action... On http://fwnc7003.leidenuniv.nl/LGI/daemon/LGI.cfg you can see how 
easy it is to configure the daemon on a resource and on 
http://fwnc7003.leidenuniv.nl/LGI/daemon/LGI.log you can see the log it 

Best wishes,

Mark Somers.

Dr. M. F. Somers
Theoretical Chemistry - Leiden Institute of Chemistry  - Leiden University
Einsteinweg 55, P.B. 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
tel: +31715274437
mail: m.somers at chem.leidenuniv.nl
web:  http://rulgla.leidenuniv.nl/Researchers/Somers.htm
room: HB322

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