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Octoshell: Lightweight and Innovative Cluster Management System (in Russian)

The development of Octoshell system was inspired
by MSU Supercomputing Center administrators
who faced a strong need in powerful
tool to manage several supercomputers simultaneously.
The key features of the Octoshell system

  • easy user accounts management;
  • flexible quotas control;
  • effective users support system;
  • immediate users and projects statistics for administrators and managers;
  • no modification to system software;
  • handy incorporation of new machines;
  • expandable functionality.

Octoshell was designed to be highly expandable by use of custom modules, i.e. it should be able to handle monitoring data or to control supercomputers hardware as well. The important point of Octoshell is easy way to integrate with supercomputers. If Octoshell is turned off, supercomputer continues to work normally, and administrators are able to control it as usual.

Octoshell is targeted to support collaborative work of users. By default, each project corresponds to POSIX group, and all users in the project have personal logins. If user participates in several projects, he has separate logins for each project. This simplifies quotas management and generation of reports. In general, this approach proved to be useful in MSU Supercomputing Center. But it is possible to alter this behavior and implement another approach to users and groups management.

Octoshell is used now in the Supercomputing
Center of Moscow State University. After two
year from the beginning of implementation, Octoshell
operates with:

  • over 300 organizations;
  • over 2 500 users;
  • over 600 scientific projects;
  • over 2 000 user problems solved.