Version 1 (modified by Christopher Small, 13 years ago) (diff)


Raven Quarterly Status Report for Q3 2009

Reporting period: Jul 1 - Sep 30 2009

PI: John H. Hartman (University of Arizona)

Major accomplishments

  • Support for creating Stork groups using CoMon queries
  • Prototyped raven tool for one-step software installation
  • Ported Stork repository to mod_python infrastructure
  • Modified sfa authentication mechanism to explicitly sign arguments
  • Prototyped owl, a tool for monitoring slice health

Description of work performed during last quarter

Activities and findings

We developed tempest, an evolution of the pacman tool. Tempest separates group membership determination and package action determination into separate helper commands. This allows tempest to support the original pacman format for the groups and packages files, but also arbitrary programs that produce the proper output. For example, this allows tempest to make group membership decisions based on a CoMon query, e.g. the user can specify a group based on a CoMon query consisting of nodes that have more than a certain amount of free memory. Nodes individually and dynamically decide whether or not they belong in this group.

We developed raven, a tool for one-step software installation. Raven greatly simplifies the process of deploying software packages on a slice. Raven creates a template directory tree that the user populates with the proper GENI key and software packages. Raven takes care of the rest, creating and signing the proper tpfiles and tempest files, and uploads these files to the Stork repository along with the packages. At that point Stork will install these packages on all nodes in the specified slice.

We ported the Stork repository to the mod_python infrastructure of Apache. This allows the repository to take advantage of Apache's authentication and load balancing mechanisms.

We modified the SFA authentication mechanism so that authentication is done by explicitly signing the request, rather than relying on the underlying SSL protocol for authentication. This greatly simplifies the design and implementation by decoupling authentication from the underlying transport protocol.

We developed a prototype of owl, a service for monitoring slice health. Owl consists of an extensible set of client-side scripts that collect information about software running in the slice. This information is sent to a centralized owl server that stores the information in a database. The owl server makes this information available via Web pages as well as in XML and JSON format. We demoed owl at GEC5.

We continue to work on iftd, a data transfer daemon that will allow Stork clients to access files via a variety of transport protocols such as http, ftp, BitTorrent, and CoDeploy. Protocol handling and error handling are encapsulated in the iftd daemon, freeing individual Raven tools from having to perform these functions. We anticipate deploying iftd in the next quarter and it will eventually replace the arizona_transfer module the Raven tools currently use.

Project participants

  • John H. Hartman (University of Arizona)
  • Scott Baker (SB Software)
  • Justin Cappos (University of Washington)
  • Justin Samuel (University of Washington)
  • Jude Nelson (University of Arizona)

Publications (individual and organizational)

  • None.

Outreach activities

  • None.


We worked closely with the following Cluster B members:

  • PlanetLab -- Princeton University
  • GUSH -- Williams College

Other Contributions

  • None.