[Beowulf] cli alternative to cluster top?

Thomas Vixel tvixel at gmail.com
Mon Dec 1 13:57:31 PST 2008

The main requirements were that 1) "it must look like top", 2) it must
be cli-based, 3) it should not introduce another piece of (server)
software (and thus point of failure) into the system, 4) and it should
not require any local hacks on our part.

Since this is a web cluster, I suppose the most logical transport
would be HTTP, but everything I've seen so far would require me to
violate (4) to satisfy 1-3. SSH & SNMP are also available, I could see
SNMP being problematic for a project like this. SSH *might* work and
*might* be scalable for a project like this since the main expense is
in the construction the connections (and they can be re-used across
the course of the execution), but I have yet to find a top-like
program that leverages it.

xmlsysd & wulfstat would appear to be the least expensive solution to
this problem, but as I said, management already nixed it.

Honestly, if it weren't for (4), I'd probably just grab the top source
and graft it onto a SSH library. It might not be the most efficient
solution, but for a HA cluster it doesn't necessarily HAVE to be.

On 11/30/08, Robert G. Brown <rgb at phy.duke.edu> wrote:
> On Sat, 29 Nov 2008, Greg Kurtzer wrote:
>> Warewulf has a real time top like command for the cluster nodes and
>> has been known to scale up to the thousands of nodes:
>> http://www.runlevelzero.net/images/wwtop-screenshot.png
>> We are just kicking off Warewulf development again now that Perceus
>> has gotten to a critical mass and Caos NSA 1.0 has been released. We
>> should have our repositories for Warewulf-3 pre-releases up shortly
>> but if you need something ASAP, please contact me offline and I will
>> get you what you need.
>> Thanks!
>> Greg
>> On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:39 PM, Thomas Vixel <tvixel at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I've been googling for a top-like cli tool to use on our cluster, but
>>> the closest thing that comes up is Rocks' "cluster top" script. That
>>> could be tweaked to work via the cli, but due to factors beyond my
>>> control (management) all functionality has to come from a pre-fab
>>> program rather than a software stack with local, custom modifications.
>>> I'm sure this has come up more than once in the HPC sector as well --
>>> could anyone point me to any top-like apps for our cluster?
>>> For reference, wulfware/wulfstat was nixed as well because of the
>>> xmlsysd dependency.
> That's fine, but I'm curious.  How do you expect to run a cluster
> information tool over a network without a socket at both ends?  If not
> xmlsysd, then something else -- sshd, xinetd, dedicated or general
> purpose, where the latter almost certainly will have have higher
> overhead?  Or are you looking for something with a kernel level network
> interface, more like scyld?
>    rgb
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>> --
>> Greg Kurtzer
>> http://www.infiscale.com/
>> http://www.runlevelzero.net/
>> http://www.perceus.org/
>> http://www.caoslinux.org/
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> Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
> Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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