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24 Jun 2021

Elastic Cloud Compute Cluster (EC3)

By Grid y Computación de Altas Prestaciones (GRyCAP) 

Elastic Cloud Computing Cluster (EC3) is a tool to create elastic virtual clusters on top of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers, either public (such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure) or on-premises (such as OpenNebula and OpenStack) or federated (EGI FedCloud or FogBow). We offer recipes to deploy TORQUE (optionally with MAUI), SLURM, SGE, HTCondor, Mesos, Nomad and Kubernetes clusters that can be self-managed with CLUES: it starts with a single-node cluster and working nodes will be dynamically deployed and provisioned to fit increasing load (number of jobs at the LRMS). Working nodes will be undeployed when they are idle. This introduces a cost-efficient approach for Cluster-based computing.

EC3 proposes the combination of Green computing, Cloud computing and HPC techniques to create a tool that deploys elastic virtual clusters on top of IaaS Clouds. EC3 creates elastic cluster-like infrastructures that automatically scale in and out to a larger or smaller number of nodes on demand up to a maximum and down to a minimum size specified by the user. Whenever idle resources are detected, the cluster dynamically and automatically scales in, according to some predefined policies, in order to cut down the costs in the case of using a public Cloud provider. This creates the illusion of a real cluster without requiring an investment beyond the actual usage. Therefore, this approach aims at delivering cost-effective elastic Cluster as a Service on top of an IaaS Cloud.

CLUES is the elasticity management component of EC3. The main function of the system is to undeploy internal cluster nodes when they are not being used, and conversely to deploy new ones when they are needed. CLUES system integrates with the cluster management middleware, such as container orchestrators, batch-queuing systems or cloud infrastructure management systems, by means of different connectors.

The Infrastructure Manager (IM) is a tool that eases the access and the usability of IaaS clouds by automating the VMI selection, deployment, configuration, software installation, monitoring and update of Virtual Appliances. It supports APIs from a large number of virtual platforms, making user applications cloud-agnostic. In addition it integrates a contextualization system to enable the installation and configuration of all the user required applications providing the user with a fully functional infrastructure.

EC3 tool offers two client applications to launch the virtual elastic clusters:
- A command-line tool that enables advanced users to modify or define their own templates to deploy.
- A web portal (a.k.a. as the EC3 as a Service - EC3aaS), which is a web service offered to the community to facilitate the usage of EC3 to non-experienced users. It is integrated in the EGI Application on Demand. The users can access the website and try the tool by using the user-friendly wizard to easily configure and deploy Virtual Elastic Clusters on top of EGI FedCloud sites. You can see a demo of the EC3aaS portal on YouTube.

Do not hesitate to access the EC3 AoD portal through the EOSC Portal Marketplace. More information about the EC3 in the webpage.


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