XCAT_2.7_Release_Notes

This is the summary of what's new in this release. Or you can go straight to [Download_xCAT].

New Function and Changes in Behavior

All Environments

  • xcatd memory usage has been decreased by about two thirds
  • xCAT can now hot-load most plugin updates without a server restart.
  • xCAT now supports a site.xcatmaxconnections tunable to either restrict number of allowed SSL connections to fit in lower memory budget or increase it for more speed at the expense of memory usage.
  • xcatdebug command can be used to enable trace for xcatd and xcatd plugins without restarting the xcatd.
  • New automated test framework for xCAT.
  • New lstree command to display the tree of service node hierarchy, hardware hierarchy, or VM hierarchy
  • makedns enhancement:
    • By default, the DNS on the management node is configured. It is no longer necessary to make /etc/resolv.conf on the MN point to the DNS that makedns should configure.
    • Support new option -e to provide the flexibility to update the DNS records to an external DNS server which is listed in the /etc/resolv.conf on the management node.
    • named starts up automatically after system reboot.
  • site.ntpservers and networks.ntpservers can be set to keyword "<xcatmaster>" to specify that the management node or service node should be used for each compute node's time server.

x86_64 Hardware

  • xCAT Genesis boot image supersedes nbfs for x86_64 node discovery and other generic boot environment tasks:
    • To use it, install the xCAT-genesis-x86_64 RPM on the MN from the latest xcat-dep tarball.
    • Contains to glibc, 32 & 64 bit userspace libraries and utilities from CentOS 6.x, and allows execution of more binaries without lots of library wrangling
    • Uses CentOS 6.x kernel, and adds several drivers
    • Gathers more hardware inventory data (processors, memory, wwpn, etc)
    • Runs IBM UpdateExpress
    • LLDP (Link Layer Discovery Protocol) support
    • Optional enhanced host authentication through ethernet switches
    • Faster boot
    • Debug shell on tty2
    • UEFI and legacy x86 boot modes supported
    • nbfs remains available
  • IPMI now honors site.syspowerinterval and site.syspowermaxnodes to optionally throttle rpower operations.
  • IPMI allows for new attribute site.ipmidispatch to be set to '0' to disable dispatching the IPMI hardware operations to the service nodes.
  • Allow for per-node override of tftpdir to allow for mount-managed service node tftp content or surrogate service node tftp content
  • KVM plugin now allows the administrator to specify a more traditional password for VNC/SPICE access using vm.vidpassword
  • Improved logging of node discovery attempts
  • General support of new IBM 'M4' generation hardware
  • Enhanced out-of-band inventory data on new IBM system x servers
  • Can now rpower suspend select IBM servers
  • OS installers are now allowed to go graphical if no text console is specified
  • ESXi5 support now includes stateful install in addition to the previous stateless boot support
  • xnba now supports UEFI boot of relevant operating systems (ESXi 5, SLES11, RHEL6, Win2k8, Win7)
  • Aids to help monitor Mellanox IB networks. See [Managing_the_Mellanox_Infiniband_Network].

Linux

  • The servicenode postscript now calls xcatserver and xcatclient for Linux. You do not need all three in the postscript list. (It will not hurt if they are there.) The install or update of xCAT will cleanup the list in the postscripts table. So where you previously saw "servicenode,xcatserver,xcatclient" you will only see "servicenode".
  • Switch to using the version of tftp that comes in the distro, instead of the atftp-xcat RPM in the xcat-dep tarball.
  • Load distro DVD disc id's from a separate file (/opt/xcat/lib/perl/xCAT/data/discinfo.pm), instead of them being in the plugins. This makes it easier for users to modify this file to try out a new version of a distro.
  • Removed the requirement to setup and use FTP to download the postscripts to the nodes. Uses httpd now.
  • Documentation on how to setup RAID1 for Linux diskful installation. See [Use_RAID1_In_xCAT_Cluster]
  • General support for RHEL 6.2
  • xCATs installation/configuration IBM HPC products on RHEL 6.2 is experimental until 2.7.1
  • Rolling updates on SLES 11 SP1 and RHEL 6.2 is experimental until 2.7.1
  • Mellanox IB QDR support on IBM system p and system x servers
  • Support for Nagios monitoring plugin

AIX

  • mkdsklsnode supports new option ( -d) to Only define the NIM resources on the service nodes.
  • Support for using NFS v4 with AIX diskless nodes.
  • Experimental code for real-time service node fail over on AIX. This code depends on some fixes in AIX that are not available yet, so this code is just for investigation on a non-production system.
  • dumpxCATdb - added -b option for those running the DB2 database. It will use the DB2 database dump utilities to create a binary backup of the entire DB2 xCAT instance. See also the xCAT DB2 doc. Also supported on p775 linux.
  • restorexCATdb - added -b option for those running the DB2 database. This will restore the database from the binary backup taken using DB2 Utilities. Also supported on p775 linux.

Key Bugs Fixed

See the xCAT 2.7 SourceForge bugs.

Restrictions and Known Problems


Related

Wiki: Download_xCAT
Wiki: Main_Page
Wiki: Managing_the_Mellanox_Infiniband_Network
Wiki: Release_Notes
Wiki: Use_RAID1_In_xCAT_Cluster
Wiki: XCAT_OS_And_Hardware_Support_Matrix

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