VT MOOC/VM Image
To facilitate the Grid Course we created a virtual machine image that the participants can run on their own computer. The usage of such a virtual machine addresses two concerns:
- Security: Giving remote shell access to (pseudo-)anonymous users on a Grid UI machine not an option.
- Scaling: With a massive number of participants (the M in MOOC), a single UI machine will not work.
Choices w.r.t. basic software
- OS: Linux
- Distribution: CentOS 6 (because some grid software requires an Enterprise Linux variant)
- Desktop: XFCE (to minimize disk usage, as participants must download the image)
We used the tools and expertise of the Grid site maintainers of SURFsara.
Software needed for the course
- Cluster scheduler: torque (torque-server, torque-scheduler, torque-client)
- Grid: emi-ui (emi-ui, ca-nl-e-infra-zero)
- Pilot job framework: picas (couchdb, couchdb-python)
- Web portal: WS-PGRADE