Launching a StarCluster on Amazon EC2

Use the start command in StarCluster to launch a new cluster on Amazon EC2. The start command takes two arguments: the cluster template and a tagname for cluster identification.

Below is an example of starting a StarCluster from the default cluster template defined in the config and tagged as physicscluster. This example will be used throughout this section.

$ starcluster start physicscluster # this line starts the cluster
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>>> Using default cluster template: smallcluster
>>> Validating cluster template settings...
>>> Cluster template settings are valid
>>> Starting cluster...
>>> Launching a 2-node cluster...
>>> Launching master node...
>>> Master AMI: ami-17b15e7e
>>> Creating security group @sc-physicscluster...
RESERVATION r-d71f20be 123456789012 default
INSTANCE i-10e91578 ami-17b15e7e pending gsg-keypair 0 m1.small ...
>>> Launching worker nodes...
>>> Node AMI: ami-17b15e7e
RESERVATION r-ab1f20c2 123456789012 default
INSTANCE i-14e9157c ami-17b15e7e pending gsg-keypair 0 m1.small ...
>>> Waiting for cluster to start...
>>> The master node is
>>> Attaching volume vol-99999999 to master node on /dev/sdz ...
>>> Setting up the cluster...
>>> Mounting EBS volume vol-99999999 on /home...
>>> Using private key /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa-gsg-keypair (rsa)
>>> Creating cluster user: myuser
>>> Using private key /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa-gsg-keypair (rsa)
>>> Configuring scratch space for user: myuser
>>> Configuring /etc/hosts on each node
>>> Configuring NFS...
>>> Configuring passwordless ssh for root
>>> Configuring passwordless ssh for user: myuser
>>> Generating local RSA ssh keys for user: myuser
>>> Installing Sun Grid Engine...
>>> Done Configuring Sun Grid Engine

The cluster has been started and configured.

Login to the master node as root by running:

    $ starcluster sshmaster physicscluster

or manually as myuser:

    $ ssh -i /home/user/.ssh/id_rsa-gsg-keypair

When you are finished using the cluster, run:

    $ starcluster stop physicscluster

to shutdown the cluster and stop paying for service

>>> start took 6.922 mins

The output of the start command should look similar to the above if everything went successfully.

If you wish to use a different template besides the default, largecluster for example, the command becomes:

$ starcluster start -c largecluster physicscluster

This command will do the same thing as above only using the largecluster cluster template.

Managing Multiple Clusters

To list all of your StarClusters on Amazon EC2 run the following command:

$ starcluster listclusters

The output should look something like:

$ starcluster listclusters
StarCluster - (
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physicscluster (security group: @sc-physicscluster)
Launch time: 2010-02-19T20:55:20.000Z
Zone: us-east-1c
Keypair: gsg-keypair
EBS volumes:
    vol-c8888888 on master:/dev/sdj (status: attached)
Cluster nodes:
     master running i-99999999
    node001 running i-88888888

This will list each StarCluster you’ve started by tag name.

Logging into the master node

To login to the master node as root:

$ starcluster sshmaster physicscluster

or as user sgeadmin:

$ starcluster sshmaster -u sgeadmin physicscluster

Logging into the worker nodes

To login to a worker node as root:

$ starcluster sshnode physicscluster node001

or as user sgeadmin:

$ starcluster sshnode -u sgeadmin physicscluster node001

The above commands will ssh to node001 of the physicscluster.

Shutting Down a Cluster

Once you’ve finished using the cluster and wish to stop paying for it, simply run the stop command providing the cluster tag name you gave when starting:

$ starcluster stop physicscluster

This command will prompt for confirmation before destroying the cluster:

$ starcluster stop physicscluster
StarCluster - (
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Shutdown cluster physicscluster (y/n)? y
>>> Shutting down i-99999999
>>> Shutting down i-88888888
>>> Removing cluster security group @sc-physicscluster

This will terminate all instances in the cluster tagged “physicscluster” and removes the @sc-physicscluster security group.