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Cluster Tools (C3)

Cluster Command & Control (C3) tool suite

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One of the problems with Cluster management software is that they try to put you some framework which might not what you want. So trying to help they overshoot and became a nuisance.  This is especially true about commercial software where complexity serves as protection from competitors. Often you need a tool that provides the necessary functionality, but at the same time allows to use it as a building block for your own more complex scripts. In this case you need something different form all-singing all dancing commercial tools.

So this is an area where open source tools have a chance.

The Cluster Command and Control (C3) tool suite is such open source tool (set of Python scripts, downloadable from C3 Software ). It was developed for use in operating the HighTORC Linux cluster at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

C3 tools package includes seven commands/scripts. All of them require ssh access to the nodes. Of them three are really valuable:

  1. cpush - push a file across cluster
  2. cexec - execute any command on each cluster node
  3. cget - get a file across cluster

And other four are marginally valuable

  1. crm - delete files or directories across cluster
  2. cshutdown - shutdown command for cluster nodes
  3. ckill - kill process across cluster
  4. cpushimage - push disk image across cluster

There are also three management commands

  1. clist - lists name and type of all clusters in the cluster configuration file
  2. cname - returns a node position from a node name
  3. cnum - returns a node name from a node position

There are four common options (each command has also command specific options)

Tools are controlled by a configuration file which can be specified as a parameter -f. Default is /etc/c3.conf. For example

cluster rhel {
	rhbox1 # head node 
	centos[1-6] # compute nodes
cluster sles {
cluster solaris {

The first cluster in the file is called default cluster similar to the first declaration in a Makefile. Any instance of a C3 command that does not explicitly name the cluster executes on the first cluster in the configuration file.

The first cluster in the file is called default cluster similar to the first declaration in a Makefile. Any instance of a C3 command that does not explisidly name the cluster executes on the first cluster in the configuration file.

Cluster configuration file should consist of one or more cluster descriptor blocks: syntactic objects that name and describe a single cluster that is accessible to that system's users. The following is an example of a default configuration file that contains exactly one cluster descriptor block: a block that describes a cluster of 64 nodes:

cluster rhel { 
	htorc-00:node0 #head node 
	node[1-64] #compute nodes 

Cluster description blocks consist of the following basic elements:

In the current version of the C3 tool set range values are treated as numbers, with no leading zeroes. A declaration like

node[01-64] #compute nodes 

Expands to node1, node2,... node64, not to node 01, node01,..., node64.

To specify a set of nodes with names like node01, node09, node10, ...node64, use declarations like

cluster local { 
   htorc-00:node0 #head node 
   node0[1-9] #compute nodes node01..node09 
   node[10-64] #compute nodes node10..node64 

There can be multiple clusters defined in the c3.conf. For example: 

cluster local { 
orc-00:node0 #head node 
node[1-64] #compute nodes 
exclude 2 
exclude [55-60] 

cluster torc { 

cluster my-cluster { 
dead riggs 
The first cluster in the file is called default cluster and is used if not cluster name is specified in the command.
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Example of the usage of cexec command

cexec 'yum -q -y install ntp'

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Last modified: March, 12, 2019