March 8, 2006

Cluster Resources' new Moab Utility/Hosting Suite

Amber Webb writes "SPANISH FORK, UT – A world in which clusters dynamically grow, automatically replace failed nodes, and instantly allocate new architectures on demand is a step closer. Cluster Resources announced today the release of Moab Utility/Hosting Suite 4.5.0, which automates an organization’s control over their compute infrastructure dynamically provisioning, allocating, and securing resources. Moab provides true service level enforcement, resource optimization, and real-time billing, making utility computing a reality for today’s organizations.

Early releases of Cluster Resources’ new computing solution have already been adapted by leading hosting centers including IBM and Alexa Internet, a subsidiary of Organizations like these use Moab technology to provision resources, guarantee service levels and monitor resource users. These features allow hosting organizations to use utility computing to share or rent out services, applications, and resources with partners and customers. Moab enables computational failover and provides near-instantaneous access to additional resources on demand. For the users of these facilities, Moab delivers complete resource or service-based compute environments allowing them to immediately accomplish the task on hand. 

Create Unique Environments

Moab orchestrates the provisioning of environments, allowing organizations to host services such as data mining, custom applications, specialized hardware, storage, on demand testing facilities and other services externally to increase revenues or improve efficiency. In the past, providing this service has been out of reach for most organizations due to technical hurdles. Further, when utility computing has been implemented, it has been both highly inefficient and cumbersome because of the manual involvement and delays associated with managing each customer account. Moab, however, allows the hosting center to simplify, speed up and optimize this process, automating the creation and customization of each customer environment – a unique feature that makes hosting resources easy and practical for the hosting organization.

“With the automated set up of environments, Moab lets organizations deploy utility computing capabilities with very little maintenance,” said Josh Butikofer, product manager at Cluster Resources. “Moab is truly unique in that it can improve the utility computing experience for administrators and end users alike with instantaneous set up of customized resources.”

Guarantee Service Levels and Billing

Another unique aspect of Moab Utility/Hosting Suite is that it lets organizations provide a reliable service to their customers with its guaranteed quality of service levels and advanced monitoring tools.

Using Moab, utility computing providers can set policies that ensure internal or external customers receive dedicated resources at a regular time, receive a guaranteed throughput, or receive a guaranteed response time for non-periodic requests. schedules actions deep into the future, taking into account all of its promises and obligations as it optimizes and provisions compute resources. Further, it regularly monitors and reports actual customer usage and delivered quality of service levels, and constantly improves its decisions based on the most up-to-date information. 

To improve the convenience of hosted computing, Moab tracks usage of resources and services in real-time and it can bill against this information. Thus, the hosting organization spends less time creating billing statements and customers are guaranteed to pay no more than the cost of the resources they have used. Because billing can be based on credits as well as real money, and can be customized on a per-user and per-project basis, organizations can create utility computing solutions for both internal and external customers.

Utility Computing Advantages

Utility Computing allows customers access to hardware, software, compute cycles, and custom services almost instantly. For many organizations, use of a utility computing center leads to reduced time to market and reduced overall costs. Utility computing cycles can be available immediately, billed based on user access, and reconfigured on demand according to latest business needs. There is no requirement to build additional power, networking, or cooling infrastructure each time a project comes on line nor is there a need to find, hire, and train IT staff constantly.

Moab Utility/Hosting Suite is an invaluable tool for both commercial hosting centers who want to increase efficiency, reduce overhead, improve responsiveness, and simplify administration. It is also of great value for consumers of these resources who want seamless, custom, reliable, and near-instantaneous resource access. With these improvements, many of the barriers inhibiting the growth of utility computing are eliminated and sites are reporting phenomenal success. Moab-based hosting centers have reported huge growth in customer satisfaction and usage after Moab adoption, with increases of resource delivery at well over 500% of what they were prior to the Moab enabled solution.

These benefits of utility computing can be applied to a wide spectrum of services. At one of its hosting centers, IBM uses the suite to let software partners test solutions on their hardware, with Moab allocating compute, network, storage, and application resources on the fly. Academic organizations use the software to rent out unused resources to commercial organizations such as local weather channels, guaranteeing resource access at key times. Alexa Internet, a subsidiary of, uses Moab to enable its ‘Alexa Web Platform’ service, with an on demand data mining center that lets users create personalized Web searches. Companies are enabling online regression testing services, access to servers running custom compute intensive software, and online failure recovery centers for mission critical applications and projects.

“The future holds impressive growth for the delivery of turn-key services and utility computing resources,” said Dave Jackson, CTO of Cluster Resources. “Customers faced with a choice between two vendors will have a new deciding factor. Do they buy software from vendor one, and then buy new hardware to run it on, then expand their power, cooling, and network infrastructure, and then hire additional IT staff, and finally, six months later, start processing data. Or, do they buy from vendor two, and immediately start processing at the vendor’s secure utility compute environment?  Vendors with utility computing enabled facilities can promise both the initial system, as well as the benefit of an environment that can instantly grow on demand based on workload, automatically replace downed nodes within minutes and adapt itself to allocate new architectures optimized for a changing workload. For the customer, this decision may be pretty easy!”

For a free evaluation version of Moab Utility/Hosting Suite, contact a Cluster Resources representative at or +1 (801) 873-3400.

About Cluster Resources:


Cluster Resources, Inc.™ is a leading provider of workload and resource management software and services for cluster, grid, hosting center and utility-based computing environments. Cluster Resources' high-performance computing solutions enable administrators to control and optimize parallel and serial computing resources. Its professional Moab product line provides HPC sites with the most advanced workload management, scheduling and policy control (e.g., advanced reservations, backfill, checkpoint, preemption, fairshare, prioritization, etc.). Moab is compatible with batch resource managers such as Platform's LSF, Altair's PBS Pro, and IBM's LoadLeveler, and open source tools including TORQUE, OpenPBS and others. Moab runs on Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X environments, and is also accessible from Windows.


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