HPC Cluster Upgrades for Hardware
HPC Cluster Upgrades from Aspen Systems include a sales engineer that will work with you to determine your expanded requirements based on the addition of your new hardware. Your network and high-speed HPC interconnects may not have enough ports to accommodate the addition of the new nodes, and additional power connections may also be needed. If rack space is not available, your upgrade may include additional racks as well. The additional heat load caused by your additional hardware will be calculated and provided to you for facility review. These and other infrastructure upgrades necessary to accommodate your additional nodes will be included in your upgrade quote package.
Adding additional nodes to an Aspen Systems cluster is easy. If your new nodes are identical to your current node configuration, a simple set of commands on your existing administrative node is all that is needed to add your new nodes. Aspen Systems clusters are designed to support these additions on diskless or diskful clusters.
If the nodes are significantly different, a little more must be done. The motherboard, chassis, and even processors of your new nodes may have changed since you purchased your original cluster, so a newer or patched kernel might be necessary to utilize the newer hardware. Aspen Systems will take a current image of a cluster node using our Aspen Systems Utilities package. If we do not have remote access, we utilize a current image you take or our archived disaster recovery image for that cluster. Then we modify that node image to boot and function on your new hardware. Aspen Systems tools generate initrd or initramfs images that successfully boot both the old and the new hardware. This is done to normalize the node image for future use. If your cluster is a single image cluster, your image must be modified to be compatible with the newer hardware.
These type of HPC cluster upgrades maintain compatibility with system libraries and utilities that are already installed on your current cluster and being used for your current codes and ensures a smooth upgrade path.
If another vendor built your cluster, things become a bit more complex. We will require access to your system to take a current image and check your current software configuration and compatibility against your new hardware. If remote access is not allowed, we can talk you through taking an image using our software and transferring that image back to Aspen Systems.
In some cases, additional software changes may be required to add your new nodes to your schedule, extend your preferred authentication schema to allow the new nodes to be utilized in the cluster, configure monitoring and correction services, and adjust other cluster configurations. All these changes can be accomplished by an Aspen Systems engineer with remote access or on-site as the new nodes are installed.
Once your new nodes are installed, and all software changes are accomplished, regression testing is performed to ensure new node functionality and compatibility with existing infrastructure.