• Simple configuration with sensible defaults

  • Single “start” command to automatically launch and configure one or more clusters on EC2

  • Support for attaching and NFS-sharing Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes for persistent storage across a cluster

  • Comes with publicly available Ubuntu-based Amazon Machine Images (AMI) configured for distributed and parallel computing.

  • AMI includes OpenMPI, OpenBLAS, Lapack, NumPy, SciPy, and other useful scientific libraries.

  • Clusters are automatically configured with NFS, Open Grid Scheduler (formerly SGE) queuing system, and password-less ssh between machines

  • Plugin System - plugin framework that enables users to customize the cluster. Plugins are executed when adding/removing a node as well as when restarting/shutting down the entire cluster. StarCluster has many built-in plugins ready to use out-of-the-box. Users can also implement their own plugins to further customize the cluster for their needs.

  • EBS-Backed Clusters - Support for starting/stopping EBS-backed clusters on EC2.

  • Cluster Compute Instances - Support for all cluster compute instance types.

  • Ability to Add/Remove Nodes- Added new addnode and removenode commands for adding/removing nodes to a cluster and removing existing nodes from a cluster.

  • Restart command - Added new restart command that reboots the cluster and reconfigures the cluster.

  • Create Keypairs - Added ability to add/list/remove keypairs

  • Elastic Load Balancing - Support for shrinking/expanding clusters based on Sun Grid Engine queue statistics. This allow the user to start a single-node cluster (or larger) and scale the number of instances needed to meet the current queue load. For example, a single-node cluster can be launched and as the queue load increases new EC2 instances are launched, added to the cluster, used for computation, and then removed when they’re idle. This minimizes the cost of using EC2 for an unknown and on-demand workload.

  • Security Group Permissions - ability to specify permission settings to be applied automatically to a cluster’s security group after it’s been started.

  • Multiple Instance Types - support for specifying instance types on a per-node basis.

  • Unpartitioned Volumes - StarCluster supports both partitioned and unpartitioned EBS volumes.

  • Numerous helper commands for common EC2/S3 operations:

    listinstances: List all running EC2 instances
    listspots: List all EC2 spot instance requests
    listimages: List all registered EC2 images (AMIs)
    listpublic: List all public StarCluster images on EC2
    listkeypairs: List all EC2 keypairs
    createkey: Create a new Amazon EC2 keypair
    removekey: Remove a keypair from Amazon EC2
    s3image: Create a new instance-store (S3) AMI from a running EC2 instance
    ebsimage: Create a new EBS image (AMI) from a running EC2 instance
    showimage: Show all AMI parts and manifest files on S3 for an instance-store AMI
    downloadimage: Download the manifest.xml and all AMI parts for an instance-store AMI
    removeimage: Deregister an EC2 image (AMI)
    createvolume: Create a new EBS volume for use with StarCluster
    listvolumes: List all EBS volumes
    resizevolume: Resize an existing EBS volume
    removevolume: Delete one or more EBS volumes
    spothistory: Show spot instance pricing history stats (last 30 days by default)
    showconsole: Show console output for an EC2 instance
    listregions: List all EC2 regions
    listzones: List all EC2 availability zones in the current region (default: us-east-1)
    listbuckets: List all S3 buckets
    showbucket: Show all files in an S3 bucket

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