Using VACM with Flim

Introduction to Flim

Flim is a small-scale cluster management graphical front-end authored by Carsten Haitzler of VA Linux Systems, Inc. It has a modular interface and plugin design to allow plugins for the toolbar and monitor plugin section to be easily written and slotted in for management and monitoring of small to medium sized clusters (up to about 200 nodes).

Using Flim

Figure 6-1. Flim Screenshot

What Flim looks like with a small cluster

To start flim up execute the `flim' command on the command line (or add it to any menu or toolbar on your desktop as the command to execute for that menu entry or button). You should now have a basic interface up with no nexxus or nodes configured.

To find out more information about the currently installed version of Flim that you are now running select about from the help menu on the upper-right corner of the flim window.

Figure 6-2. About Menu

The about menu

This will display a window with information about the version of Flim running.

Figure 6-3. About Dialog Window

The about dialog box

The first thing you will want to do is to add a nexxus to Flim so it can query what nodes are attached to the nexxus (if any) and display information about them, or let you add and delete nodes. To do this select "New" from the "Nexxus" menu at the top of the flim window.

Figure 6-4. The Nexxus Menu

The nexxus menu

Once you have selected this, a new nexxus will be added and a dialog will appear for you to set the appropriate information for the new nexxus you added.

Figure 6-5. Nexxus Settings Dialog Window

The nexxus settings dialog

The Name field is a convenience name for the administrator to use. Using a recognizable name such as "Top Floor", "Front Machine Room", "Sourceforge" etc. would be a good idea here. The address is the internet address which will be used to contact the nexxus from the client. This may be any machine name or IP address that validly points to that nexxus. The next 2 fields are the login and password to use for that nexxus to gain access. Edit these as appropriate. Remember that henceforth all Flim plugins and flim itself will access this nexxus as that user. If that user has restricted access Flim might not be able to display information or perform management of that node in some areas. When you press "OK" the settings will be applied and all plugins will be informed of the change of settings for that nexxus.

If your nexxus is already set up all the nodes it is talking to will appear in the tree view. you can select the nexxus and all nodes connected to that nexxus by selecting the nexxus in the tree view. clicking on a nexxus or a node will toggle its selection. You can use the "Edit" menu to also select and deselect nodes.

Figure 6-6. Edit Menu

The edit menu

If no nodes are attached and configured for the nexxus, or you need to add more, or delete nodes, you can use the "Node" menu. When you select delete it will delete all selected nodes in the tree view.

Figure 6-7. Node Menu

The node menu

Be wary of what you have selected before you delete nodes. If you select "Settings", the settings on selected nodes can be changed, and if you select Add a new node will be added, allowing you to set its default settings.

When configuring a new node, or changing the settings on an existing node, the following entries are significant.

Figure 6-8. Node Settings Dialog

The node settings dialog

The first entry is the name of the node. This is the same name the nexxus uses to identify the node. The network address would be the IP address of the node in question for VACM to address it for other reasons such as for the sensor daemon module and systat module. Leave this blank if it is not relevant. The device entry next is the device by which vacm will contact the node for emp. This is normally a serial device of some sort. The password is the password to be used to control access to that node's vacm settings. Leave it blank or "NONE" for no password. The asset tag can be up to 14 characters to uniquely identify private information about the machine.

Flim operates on a plugin mechanism. The toolbar on the left and pane on the right get populated with plugins that are separate processes spawned by Flim. You can configure the plugins you want to run by bringing up Flim's preferences dialog.

Figure 6-9. Flim Preferences Dialog

Flim's toolbar plugin settings dialog

Figure 6-10. Flim Preferences Dialog

Flim's monitor plugin settings dialog

Click on the Add button to add a plugin to the list, select and deselect it in the list to enable and disable that plugin.

Flim allows you to group your nodes in virtual groups - for example "Rack1", "Rack2", "Customer A", "Levis", "501s" etc. You can create a new group just by selecting a set of nodes and then selecting "New group from selected nodes" which will bring up a dialog to name the group. You can delete a group by selecting it and selecting "Delete" from the "Group" menu, and you can rename a group by selecting "Settings..." from the "Group" menu.

Figure 6-11. Flim Groups Menu

Flim's groups menu

Figure 6-12. Flim Groups Dialog

Flim's group naming dialog dialog