ACT Utils is Advanced Clustering’s suite of cluster management software, which is included in all clusters we build. Our software stack is designed to remove the difficulty in using and maintaining an HPC cluster. We developed ACT Utils with a keen eye to how people use HPC clusters to ensure the tools are practical and comprehensive. ACT Utils includes custom software as well as best-of-breed open-source software.

As its name suggests, ACT dir is installed and conveniently contained in the /act directory on the head node, allowing it to be easily upgraded and to avoid conflict with any other software you plan on installing on your system.

Advanced Clustering's ACT Utils package provides an easy to use command line-based set of management utilities for your Cluster.  These powerful parallel shell tools can be included as part of scripts or used interactively as part of day-to-day administrative tasks.

Features include:

  • Consistent command line options across all utilities
  • Easy INI file syntax that allows you to specify all nodes in a cluster in just a few lines
  • You can specify individual nodes, multiple nodes or pre-defined groups
  • Easy custom defined grouping of nodes, so you can easily act on subsets of nodes (common group examples: cabinet1, cabinet2, ibnodes, etc.)
  • Commands run in parallel so they work quickly and efficiently
  • Uses existing remote execution software already in place, no new server or daemons to run (configurable between SSH and RSH)
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Open Source Components

Message Passing Libraries

We include OpenMPI, MPICH, and MVAPICH MPI libraries built for every compiler installed on the system.

Modules

With the modules command users can easily switch between different compilers and MPI libraries.

Job Scheduler

Included with ACT Utils is your choice of SLURM, Torque or Open Grid Scheduler. Any one of these will come configured for your system.

Monitoring and Alerting

ACT utils integrates Ganglia and Nagios for monitoring and alerting. Easily see performance on your cluster as a whole or each node, and receive pro-active alerts on failures or performance issues.

Advanced Clustering's Software

'act' commands

A set of useful command line utilities to facilitate setup, maintenance and administration of your HPC cluster.

Cloner

Advanced Clustering’s network based image replication software. Easily create, update, and deploy new images to bare metal hardware.

IPMI Integration

ACT Utils is designed to take advantage of the IPMI baseboard management controller built in to all of our systems. It gives you easy access to hardware sensors (fan, temperature, voltage) and remote power control of all nodes or sub-sets of nodes.

eQUEUE

Optionally include eQUEUE with your cluster for an easy to use web-based job submission and remote visualization software.

ACT Commands

‘act’ commands features

  • Consistent command-line options across all utilities
  • Easy INI file syntax that allows you to specify all nodes in a cluster in just a few lines
  • Specify individual nodes, multiple nodes, or pre-defined groups
  • Easy custom-defined grouping of nodes so you can easily act on subsets of nodes (common group examples: cabinet1, cabinet2, ibnodes, etc.)
  • Commands run in parallel so they work quickly and efficiently
  • Uses existing remote execution software already in place — no new server or daemons to run (configurable between SSH and RSH).





‘act’ commands included

Below is a subset of some of the useful utilities that come with ACT Utils.

  • act_exec – run any command in parallel on the nodes you specify
  • act_cp – copy a file from the machine you are logged into to the nodes you specify.
  • act_sensors – read IPMI sensors (temperature, voltage or fans) for all or any subset of nodes.
  • act_powerctl – hardware power cycle nodes in your cluster
  • act_netboot – manage the network boot settings, and alter each nodes booting behavior.
  • act_cfgfile – generate system config files based on entered parameters (hosts, networking, DNS, DHCP, nagios, scheduler, etc).

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