Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FutureGrid Transition Plans for Hotel and Alamo Users

With the FutureGrid project ending, here is an outline of the transition to the Hotel and Alamo resources operated under the new Chameleon project. 

First, the FutureGrid management has graciously consented to operate their portal until the end of this week. This means that until the end of this week you will be able to manage your FutureGrid account. If you need to change the password or perform any other management actions, please do so at this time.

Alamo will become unavailable on October 1st as we take it down to reconfigure it for the new project. During this time, Hotel will be operating "as is" in order to provide some resources for existing users. You will be able to access Hotel with your existing FutureGrid account -- however beginning this Monday (October 6th) your account will be "frozen", i.e., you will no longer be able to manage your FutureGrid account, so please make sure that all is in order by then. During this time, we will also be able to provide only a limited amount of support as we develop the Chameleon portal. 

We are planning to make the Chameleon portal available around the end of October. It will include tools facilitating porting your FutureGrid account to the Chameleon account.  Alamo will become available around the same time via the new project. Once Alamo becomes available, we will take down Hotel for reconfiguration. We plan to complete the transition in November. 

To keep in touch, please visit our website, www.chameleoncloud.org. We will also post regular updates there as the project gets underway.

Kate Keahey
Mathematics and CS Division, Argonne National Laboratory Computation Institute, University of Chicago

Friday, September 12, 2014

Shutdown of Nimbus Hotel clouds

Dear Hotel users, 

Early this year, we announced a move towards shutting down the Nimbus-Xen cloud on Hotel and the creation of Nimbus-KVM in addition to the OpenStack-KVM cloud already operated on this resource. However, since most of our users chose to move to the OpenStack-KVM cloud as a result of this change, we decided to operate the Nimbus clouds for a longer time allowing the community to fully transition to OpenStack.

As most of the active Nimbus users have now moved to the OpenStack, we therefore plan to shut down the Nimbus clouds on Hotel (both Xen and KVM versions) by Friday, September 19, 2014 to facilitate the reconfiguration of the physical infrastructure to support OpenStack. These resources will continue to be operated as an OpenStack cloud under the new Chameleon project. Please contact us if this action will create any issue with your current or planned use of Nimbus Hotel.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

From FutureGrid to NSFCloud

Yesterday, the National Science Foundation announced the NSFCloud awards. FutureGrid partners, University of Chicago and TACC won one of them to build an experimental testbed called Chameleon. We are excited to be able to continue serving the FutureGrid community through this new project!

The FutureGrid resources at University of Chicago and TACC, Hotel and Alamo, will continue to be operated during the first year of the Chameleon project. We will provide documentation and tools as necessary to streamline user transition from FutureGrid to Chameleon so that FutureGrid users can keep their data and access these resources easily. We will also make every effort to ensure that the resource availability under the new project overlaps with FutureGrid.

Initially the resources will be operated in roughly the same way as they are now operated in FutureGrid with the exception that the "HPC partitions" will not be supported. We will continue the process of transitioning users to the OpenStack clouds. In Spring of 2015, we expect to introduce additional capabilities allowing users to work with bare metal reconfiguration while continuing to operate OpenStack clouds for research and educational projects as before. In the Fall of 2015, the existing Hotel and Alamo resources will be supplanted by new hardware consisting of over 650 multi-core nodes equipped with OpenFlow switches and a total of 5 PB of storage. The operational model of the resources will remain the same in the essentials but will be progressively refined to support increasingly more experiments.

To find out more, please visit our website, www.chameleoncloud.org. We will also post regular updates as the project gets underway.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Important Changes!

After almost five years of operation, the FutureGrid project will come to an end on September 30th. There will be several options for current users who wish to continue their work after that date.
The Indiana University machines Xray, India, Bravo, Delta, Echo will continue running roughly as is for both education and research (with greater use of Cloudmesh tool and a different access portal), and additional possibilities via other projects will be described in a detailed announcement in the next few weeks. In particular, we expect that testbeds funded by the NSFCloud solicitation (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13602/nsf13602.htm) will be available to welcome FutureGrid users as FutureGrid is ending. These testbeds will focus on supporting research and development in cloud computing. Further High performance computing and data intensive computing users can request time on other XSEDE resources.
See https://www.xsede.org/resources/overview for a description of XSEDE resources and https://portal.xsede.org/allocations-overview for information on how to request access.

Please submit a ticket or send email to help@futuregrid.org if you need help before details on future options are available.
Thank you, Geoffrey

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Phantomize feature: automatic installation of tcollector sensor agent

We are happy to announce "phantomize", a Phantom feature that will automatically install and run the tcollector sensor agent on the first boot of your virtual machines thereby automatically instrumenting your VMs to provide sensor measurements.

Phantom offers autoscaling based on sensor measurements from a variety of sources, including user's virtual machines. To collect these measurements, Phantom relies on the tcollector sensor agent being running on each of those virtual machines. Until now, users had to manually install tcollector in their virtual machines or use an image provided by us with tcollector already installed. The former requires extra effort and the latter restricts the user to the types of images provided by us. 

The phantomize feature addresses this problem. To use it, all the user needs to do is pick the "phantomize" contextualization type in their launch configuration settings. The only requirement is that the user's virtual machine image is capable of downloading and executing the user-data script on boot.

Phantomize has been tested successfully with Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu virtual machines on FutureGrid clouds running Nimbus and OpenStack.