ORPHANED CLUSTERS

Customers periodically ask us to take over support for clusters they have purchased from another vendor. Due to the frequency of these requests, we’ve standardized and documented the process we use to successfully accomplish this task.

Expert Advice Support Request

How Orphaned Cluster Support works

After you contact us, Aspen will perform an engineering evaluation of the cluster you wish us to support. We must determine the hardware Bill of Materials for your cluster first. We need to know what processors, motherboards, disks, memory, and network interconnects are present in your cluster, along with all peripheral equipment such as network switches, RAID devices, KVM switches, and other devices. It is very helpful if you can provide the original invoice or quote for the cluster along with the quotes or invoices for any upgrades that might have taken place.

Aspen must either have remote access to your system or place an engineer on site with the cluster. We will require root privileges on your current cluster to view the current software configuration, but we will not change anything during the evaluation. The engineer in charge of your evaluation may formulate a list of questions regarding hardware or software configurations on your cluster. If the evaluation is being performed remotely, we may request front and rear view pictures of your cluster and specific equipment if needed.

After the evaluation is complete, your Aspen sales engineer and the evaluation engineer will conference with you to go over the results and discuss specific concerns you or we might have. Based on the support option you select, some hardware changes such as upgrading master node disks or other upgrades may need to occur, and your sales engineer will discuss these options and trade-offs with you. The support option you wish to use will determine many of the actions needed to complete the transition.



There are several options for your new support contract:

Hardware Support Only

In this scenario, Aspen will support a specific list of hardware devices from your cluster. The list may contain all or only part of your equipment, based on the availability and feasibility of replacement. Aspen reserves the right to replace failed parts with functional equivalents if required. Hardware plus Custom Software: This support option includes the hardware support in the Hardware Support Only option, but extends support to the existing software stack. In this case, Aspen will provide best effort troubleshooting and fault correction for the current software configuration on your cluster. As baseline capabilities are defined by the existing software configuration, and that configuration will not be a standard Aspen build, major upgrades or functional changes are not supported in this option.

Custom Software Only

This option includes only support for the existing software stack currently on your cluster. If the cluster is older, hardware maintenance costs may be more expensive than you wish to pay, while troubleshooting and fault correction for the existing software stack is needed. As above, baseline capabilities are defined by the existing software configuration, and major upgrades or functional changes are not supported.

Standard Service Upgrade

This option is used to place your cluster under the Standard Service level of support normally included with all Aspen clusters. It includes hardware support as outlined in the Hardware Support Only option, but requires an upgrade to the distribution of your choice and software configuration of your cluster to enable the baseline Aspen functionality and standardization. The presence or absence of specific capabilities is hardware dependent, and based on the hardware configuration of your current cluster.

Flex Service Upgrade

This option is used to place your cluster under the Flex Service level of support for your cluster, which allows you the flexibility to add capabilities and perform upgrades in future. It includes hardware support as outlined in the Hardware Support Only option, but requires an upgrade to the distribution of your choice and software configuration of your cluster to enable the baseline Aspen functionality and standardization. The presence or absence of specific capabilities is hardware dependent, and based on the hardware configuration of your current cluster.

Total Service Upgrade

This option is used to place your cluster under the Total Service level of support, which provides remote system administration for your system. On-site hardware maintenance is a popular Add-on service for customers who choose this option. It includes hardware support as outlined in the Hardware Support Only option, but requires an upgrade to the distribution of your choice and software configuration of your cluster to enable the baseline Aspen functionality and standardization. The presence or absence of specific capabilities is hardware dependent, and based on the hardware configuration of your current cluster.

Upgrade Only

This is a popular option for older clusters, and is not a support contract. Instead your cluster is upgraded to the distribution of your choice and a baseline software configuration is performed. Often customers simply wish to upgrade their distribution and utilities on an older cluster to take advantage of more modern utilities or run newer codes, which can significantly extend the useful lifetime of an older cluster. More information is available in our Cluster Upgrades section.

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