August 30, 2001

OSCAR v1.1 declared a success

Author: JT Smith

August 31, 2001 - Manchester, UK - Representing the Open Cluster Group -
Tim Mattson of Intel proclaims OSCAR v1.1 a success with over 1400
downloads taking place in approximately 30 days. On August 2, 2001, the Open Cluster Group (OCG) released version 1.1 of
its software package that makes configuring and maintaining a Linux
cluster as easy as installing commercial software from a CD. Version 1.1
includes updated versions of nearly all the included software tools as
well as support for RedHat 7.1, LAM/MPI, and the Maui scheduler.

The software, called Open Source Cluster Applications Resources (OSCAR),
is available for download from the OSCAR project page on SourceForge:
http://oscar.sourceforge.net/

OSCAR is being developed by the Open Cluster Group, a collaboration
among technology companies and major research centers led by IBM, Intel,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Indiana University, University of
Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Dell, SGI,
MSC.Software Corporation, and Veridian. More information is available
at the OCG web page: http://www.openclustergroup.org/. Developers from
the OCG will provide demos at SC'2001 in the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory booth on equipment provided by Dell.

OSCAR is being developed as a complete Linux cluster infrastructure that
allows users to set up a parallel Linux supercomputing cluster in a
matter of hours. The tools included in OSCAR are all community accepted,
tested, and configured to work together. Without OSCAR, each of these
tools would need to be installed, tested, and configured separately -- a
process that can take days. Included in the package are Portable Batch
System (PBS), which queues computing jobs for running on a cluster,
Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM), which allows parallel applications to
run on clusters, LAM/MPI and MPICH, tools that allow Message Passing
Interface (MPI) codes to run on many high-end computing systems, and
Cluster Command and Control (C3), a suite of tools to simplify the use
and administration of clusters.

"OSCAR allows users to quickly and easily create a high performance
Linux cluster without the requirement of high-level technical
expertise," said Jeff Squyres, a researcher at Indiana University and
one of the core OSCAR developers. "The use of OSCAR and OSCAR-enabled
tools, particularly tools supported by major vendors such as IBM and
Intel, leverages the current best-known ways of building an maintaining
a Linux cluster."

Design and development is already in progress for OSCAR 2.0. The 2.x
OSCAR series is being designed to include a scalable development
infrastructure that will allow transparent support for multiple Linux
distributions, support for Intel's new Itanium processor, and
finer-grained releases of sub-packages and tools included in the OSCAR
framework. The finalized OSCAR 2.0 design will be an open, published
API.

"The published API will enable third party software packages to easily
utilize the OSCAR management framework, allowing independently developed
tools to be integrated in to an OSCAR-installed cluster," said Squyres.
"We consider it to be one of the most important aspects of the OSCAR 2.x
series.

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