Great news in Chameleon-land!
We worked hard all through the last month and right after the Labor Day we are happy to announce the fruit of those labors:
Managing the number of nodes assigned to a lease. While, it has always been possible to manage the time allocated to Chameleon leases -- in other words, prolong or shorten them -- up till now it has not been possible to manage them in space, i.e, change the number of reserved nodes. Users who found themselves with insufficient number of nodes for an experiment had to release their current allocation and create a bigger lease. We now provide capabilities to update the number of nodes in a lease. For advance reservations that haven't yet started, the node count can be increased or decreased. For reservations already started, new nodes can be added (the ability to drop nodes from an active lease will be added in the future). Read our documentation for detailed information on how to update the number of reserved nodes.
Hardware Contribution. We are excited to announce a hardware contribution made by one of our users: the new Terasic DE5a-Net FPGA board has been installed and is available for use by all in experiments on Chameleon. The board is powered by a Altera Arria 10 GX and has ultra low-latency, straight connections to four external 40G QSFP+ modules and provides new capabilities for studying hardware architectures. The hardware node is available for reservation at the UC site and can be launched with the existing FPGA appliance. For now, users should compile their OpenCL codes on their workstation with a Quartus installation using their own license before uploading to the FPGA node -- in the future, we will make the compiler available on the Chameleon compile nodes.
CHI-in-a-box. We have released an alpha version of CHI-in-a-box -- a packaging of the CHameleon Infrastructure, i.e., core testbed services. The alpha version package contains only a part of the infrastructure (in particular, the discovery services are not yet packaged) and is meant for adventurous users operating in constrained conditions. If you would like to explore the alpha CHI-in-a-box, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Publishing appliances. We heard from multiple users that while it was very easy to make an appliance public, it was hard to add any useful information to the published appliance (such as a line of description, information about documentation, mailing lists, or support) -- limiting the usefulness of such sharing in practice. We therefore now provide a mechanism that makes sharing this additional information with other users much easier: simply click the Images tab on the left of Chameleon GUI, and select Publish to Appliance Catalog from the dropdown menu to the right of listed images. You will be presented with a web form that allows you to enter comments about your appliance -- the resulting entry will be published in the appliance catalog that can be accessed directly off our main page.
User interface extensions. We added a feature whereby the PIs of Chameleon projects can see how many SUs each of their projects is consuming.
Have a wonderful September, there will be more exciting news early next month!