Automated Installation of Linux High-Performance Computing Clusters

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Advisor

Amit Jain


The process of acquiring and building the software necessary for a complete, fully-functional high-performance computing (HPC) cluster is complex and daunting, even for someone experienced in building non-HPC systems and applications. While many cluster installation utilities exist, most of them simply automate the process of installing software across a homogeneous collection of systems. These utilities still require the system administrator to perform significant amounts of application setup and configuration work before a fully-functional cluster is realized.

The Boise State Automated Cluster Installer (BSACI) provides system administrators a tool which extends the automation process to include installation and configuration of user-space tools, job schedulers, parallel and cluster-specific development and runtime environments, and monitoring. BSACI will deliver a fully-functional Linux-based Beowulf HPC cluster, with minimal knowledge and intervention required from the system administrator. No longer is the system administrator expected to digest tomes of documentation regarding various cluster-specific software, just to get a basic working configuration. Someone with basic knowledge of network configuration and disk layout will be able to install a cluster in literally a matter of minutes.

BSACI provides a robust tool which is usable by students, instructors, and re- searchers to build a fully-functional Linux-based HPC cluster.

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