LIGHTWEIGHT GRID MANAGER TUTORIAL

Web Interface

The Lightweight Grid consists of a network of servers, each of which knows how to launch Mathematica kernels for parallel computation; a description of the technology is given in the "Introduction". Each server accepts HTTP connections. Typically these are used to set up links from a master Mathematica kernel that wants to launch parallel kernels to use for computation. However, you can also connect to the server with a web browser for configuration and monitoring.

The server runs, by default, on port 3737, so you should be able to connect to it from a web browser using a URL such as http://localhost:3737 or http://server:3737 depending on whether you are on the machine or not. A sample of the front page of the server is shown below.

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The page shows on the left panel other servers that are found with service discovery. In this case it lists itself (highlighted in yellow) and other servers.

Across the top are tabs for different sections of the interface. These sections are described in more detail below.

Server Administrator

For some operations of the server, such as license operations, changing configuration, or shutting down kernels, you need to enter a password that authenticates your right to carry out the operation. The server will ask you to enter the administrator password when you try to carry out one of these operations. The web interface uses a standard session-based login session, so once you authenticate, you do not need to enter your password until the session expires (typically after about 30 minutes with no activity).

Note that the administrator password is used in a different way from the password of the account that runs the server. You can read more about this in the "Introduction", which has a summary of the Lightweight Grid technology.

The administrator password is typically set when you install the Lightweight Grid. It can be changed after installation.

Status

The Status tab shows the basics of operation of the server. A sample is shown below; in this case it has launched two kernels.

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From this panel you can close some or all of the kernels. When you do so you need to be logged in as the server administrator.

Kernel Settings

The Kernel Settings tab shows the service configuration page for the services that the server provides. Each service is a template for launching kernels, constructed from the properties shown below.

You would make a change here if, for example, you wanted to switch the location of Mathematica that was being launched, or to give special command-line options when launching. The details of the parameters are given in the "Kernel Settings" section.

In order to save changes to the configuration you need to be logged in as the server administrator.

The configuration form has several buttons at the bottom:

Save - Save the changes made in the form. If there are problems with any of the changed settings, none of the changes will be saved and you will see messages identifying the issues. Saved changes will take immediate effect for anyone launching kernels from the selected service, and the saved changes are also saved to disk.

Reset - Reset changes made in the form input fields to the values they had when the web page was loaded.

Reset to Defaults - Change all editable fields (except Name) to their default settings; this is the same as typing in the defaults and clicking Save.

Save and Test Kernel - Save the changes made in the form and do a test launch of the kernel described by KernelCommand. You would do this in order to verify that the kernel can be launched and that it has a valid license.

Under Kernel Settings there is also a Services link which shows this page:

The Services page shows you the services that the server provides and provides functions for managing them. Each service is a group of identically configured kernels. When you install the server, a default General Service is created. There is always at least one service, and one of the services is marked as the default service.

Manual Launching

Another use of the Services page is to launch kernels manually. This is useful for testing that they can be launched and inspecting the name of the link that is produced. Clicking the Open Kernel link will launch a kernel and display information as shown below.

This shows that a kernel can be launched and returns a typical link that it would use. It would be possible to use a manual configuration to connect to this link, but just knowing that the link can be created and seeing its name is often useful enough.

Server Settings

The Server Settings tab shows settings for the server. A sample is shown below.

You would make a change here if, for example, you wanted to change the URL that is used to contact the server. The details of the parameters are given in the "Server Settings" section.

In order to save changes to the configuration you need to be logged in as the server administrator.

Licensing

The Licensing tab allows you to set license data for the Mathematica kernels and front ends launched by the Lightweight Grid. To use the Licensing tab you will have to be logged as the server administrator (this will be requested if you are not already logged in). The initial page lets you install a license to be used by this server and is an important step in setting up your server. The following shows the Licensing tab.

If you enter the license information into the text field and click Install License, this will install the license for the machine running the server. Typically, the license will indicate a network license manager, for example, !mathlmserver.example.com. Note that the license will be installed into the $UserBaseDirectory of the user running the service.

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