Case Study: National Institute of Computational Science uses Puppet to Streamline Security and Ensure Consistency Across Their Servers

It’s awfully fitting that the first academic supercomputer to reach petascale performance (and eighth fastest overall) is named “Kraken,” after the legendary, gargantuan sea monster. Kraken, accessed by 2,000 active researchers, contains 16,512 compute sockets, 129 terabytes of memory, and 3.3 petabytes of raw disk space. The National Institute of Computational Science (NICS), a joint project of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, uses Puppet to manage Kraken, as well as a variety of other monsters (high-performance computing systems and essential infrastructure servers).

Stephen McNally, an HPC administrator with NICS, had this to say about managing their enormous infrastructure with Puppet:

“One thing that stands out is security. Being able to control all that we do in one place and ensure that it’s consistent across the infrastructure is wonderful. I don’t have to worry about server one having a different security profile than server two.”

To learn more, read the rest of the NICS case study or view Stephen’s slides from TeraGrid.

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