One of the biggest challenges users cite in deploying and managing Lustre environments is the lack of a comprehensive, unified user interface. For users, Lustre has been historically difficult to manage and deploy due to its large feature set and the command-line interface.

Industry-wide, the only exception to this rule is the Terascala Management Console incorporated into the new The Dell | Terascala HPC Storage Solution. You can download a demo version of the Management Console at http://www.terascala.com/demodownload.php.

First, a bit about the system: The Dell | Terascala HPC Storage Solution delivers high capacity, open storage for higher education and other mid-sized HPC environments. It’s available in six versions offering redundant, fixed, scalable base configurations of 30, 60, or 90 Terabytes, providing up to 180 Terabytes of fast-scratch storage.
The nice thing about the Dell | Terascala solution is that it comes delivered as an appliance, ready-to-use, and with a Management Console that gives administrators unprecedented simplicity, completeness, and control over their environment. Here is a screen shot of the initial Console screen:
Dell | Terascala Management Console

Here are some of the Console highlights:
GUI Replaces Command-line Interface
The figure below shows a typical set of Lustre instructions for formatting the Lustre file system. Note that there are many lines of code that need to be run in a specific order with very specific options set. The Terascala Management Console replaces these error-prone command lines with the click of a single button.

A Unified User Interface for Lustre - The Terascala Management Console - The Dell TechCenter

By simply selecting a particular item, additional information and the ability to make changes to that item (if appropriate) becomes available. Tasks such as powering up and powering down the file system, unmounting the file system, adding new object stores, and forcing failover between redundant components are as simple as clicking a button.

Console Displays both Lustre and Hardware Views
The Terascala Management Console enables cluster administrators to have full control over their environments, including access to both the Lustre file system and the hardware it’s running on. This allows the entire system to be managed from a single window and serves as a complete solution.

The figure below shows a sample view of the file system status as well as the state of the RAID arrays.

A Unified User Interface for Lustre - The Terascala Management Console - The Dell TechCenter

Full Control
With access to data about both the hardware and file system aspects of the storage solution, the Management Console presents information in a simple, easy to use format while maintaining the details needed for experienced administrators to do their job. The Management Console also allows console access to the systems which can be helpful for certain tasks. For example, the figure below highlights some of the configuration options available for setting up an SNMP agent.
A Unified User Interface for Lustre - The Terascala Management Console - The Dell TechCenter

Download the GUI

The Terascala Management Console is a java-based application that can be run from any system with connection to the Terascala storage appliance. A demonstration version of the Terascala Management Console is available for download from the link below. This version of the Console is a standalone Java application which does not require a connection to an actual storage appliance, but provides access to all of the menu selections. You can change system names, view properties, powered down “units” and power them back up. Error conditions can be noted as well. Without a live storage appliance behind it, not all of the functionality can be simulated. However, this download provides a great way to see the Terascala Management Console in action. Note that the Terascala Management Demo requires Oracle Java Runtime Environment 6.0 or greater. Other Java vendors' environments are not supported. Download the Terascala Management Demo here.

Rick Friedman, TerascalaRick Friedman biographical sketch
Rick Friedman is Terascala's vice president of marketing and product management. Terascala developed the world's first high throughput Lustre based storage appliance. While he currently carries the title of Marketing, he is in fact really an engineer with a BSEE from Univ of Penn, and experience in semiconductor design, networking and servers. Prior to joining Terascala, he was at Scali, a leader in management and application performance software for High Performance Computing. Rick was also an early employee at Ammasso (makers of the first RDMA over Ethernet NIC) and Network Engines (developers of the first 1U servers).