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How it Works
Submitted by fapeeler on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 13:28
Though the details of VCL can get complicated, the concepts behind it are simple.
One of the primary goals of VCL is to deliver a dedicated compute environment to a user for a limited time. This can range from something as simple as a virtual machine running an office suite to a machine room blade running high end software (i.e. a CAD,GIS,statistical package or an Enterprise level application) to a cluster of interconnected physical (bare metal) compute nodes. For years both ITECS (technical suppport for the College of Engineering) and the Central IT department, now called Office of Information Technology, struggled to efficently provide remote access to high end computers for researchers and students.
The conceptual overview below shows that remote users connect to the VCL Scheduling Application (the web VCL portal) and request access to a desired application environment. The application environment consists of an operating system and a suite of applications. The currently supported operating systems are Windows, Redhat Linux, and Solaris. The computer types are machine room blade servers, vmware virtual machines, and standalone machines, including those that may be in a traditional computing lab.
The VCL Infrastructure
The VCL infrastructure consists of three tiers: a web server, a database server, and one or more management nodes. Each of the managment nodes controls or can provision a computer that it has control over. We call the computer a compute node.
Web Server - The VCL Portal
Management node(s) - The processing engine
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