Aster Express virtual images are now available for downloading to your PC so that you can run an Aster cluster. After installing VMware Player and downloading the Aster Queen and Worker images (see the Introduction to Aster Express article), you're ready to bring the Aster cluster to life!
As we saw in the introduction article, an Aster Express cluster consists of a Queen node and a Worker node. The Worker nodes store the distributed data and also work in parallel for all processing and analytic computations. Typically the Worker nodes also serve as backups to each other. In this way, the cluster provides automatic failover in the case of a Worker node failure. For the Aster Express cluster, we start with only 1 Worker in order to minimize the resource requirements on your PC. This means that all data and processing is done on the single Worker node.
With VMware Player installed, there is a quick configuration change that we'll need to make in order to match the network addresses in the Aster images. The Aster images have been created using static IP addresses, 192.168.100.100 for the Queen and 192.168.100.150 for the Worker. Before we boot those images, we'll need to match the VMNET8 virtual network with this subnet.
On Windows, select your network properties either through Control Panel or right-clicking 'My Network Places' from your Start menu, or with Windows 7, this is “Nework and Sharing Center” . You should see a network connect named "VMware Network Adapter VMnet8". Select the properties for this and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). We'll need to set the IP address to 192.168.100.1, as shown in these screenshots.
Now that we've have the network settings done, it's time to run VMware Player and start our Aster images. From the VMware Player Welcome page, choose "Open a Virtual Machine" and click your way through your file directory to the Queen node folders, looking for the "sles11.vmx" file. We're starting with the Queen node first, as it will take a few minutes for our SLES linux to boot and run the Aster software.
This step is very important. As you click through the virtual image directories, VMware is looking for the .vmx file, in order to start the image. Once you find it, double-click or choose the 'Open' option. VMware will now present you with a dialog box asking if you copied or moved this image. Be sure to choose 'I MOVED IT'!
As these are clones of preconfigured images, VMware needs to know that this will be the only copy running on your PC, which is why we chose "moved it". If this image were a copy, VMware would make adjustments to the networking configuration, such as renaming the network adapter "eth1" instead of "eth0", which would cause trouble with our Aster cluster.
Once we have the Queen up and running, start the Worker image with the same steps. Again, be sure to choose "I moved it" when prompted!
All of your Aster management will be done using the AMC web tool. This slick web interface will allow you to add Worker nodes to the cluster and monitor all activity and system resources. In the event of trouble, the AMC will show you where the problem lies and provide diagnostic information and system logs. For this article, we won't need to log into these virtual machines directly. But should you want to look around, the linux login/password is "aster/aster" for both Queen and Worker.
Let's start by logging into the AMC and adding our Worker node to the cluster. Using your browser, connect to the AMC using 192.168.100.100 as the web URL address (you may see warnings about the connection security - you can ignore those). Login with the user/password "db_superuser/db_superuser".
(If you have trouble connecting to the Queen, one area to check is to make sure you are not also connected to a VPN. These can 'override' your local network and prevent you from connecting to the Queen.) Once logged in, you'll see the Dashboard. At this point there are no Workers attached to the Aster cluster yet.
Our Worker node instance should be up and running by now with an IP address of 192.168.100.150. Let’s add it to our Aster cluster.
Using the AMC, choose the ‘Admin’ tab and ‘Cluster Mangement’. From there choose ‘Add Node’. Type the IP address into the configuration field (192.168.100.150) and also check the ‘clean node’ box.
This step may take a while. The node will be ‘cleaned’ and the Aster software is uploaded and installed to the Worker by the Queen. The Worker status may be in the ‘cleaning’ status for 10 minutes or so. Be patient, it will finally get to a ‘Prepared’ status.
Once the Worker node has been added, cleaned and is in the ‘Prepared’ state, you can choose the ‘Activate Cluster’ button. This too can take some time … once again, please be patient.
That's it. You now have an Aster cluster up and running on your PC, ready to start crunching Big Data!
We can take another look at the Dashboard page to now see our Worker added to the cluster. If you want to jump ahead and practice your Aster admin skills, now might also be a good time to take a look at the article, Aster Parallelism: V-Workers.
Look for more Aster articles soon that will walk you through the basics of connecting to Aster database and submitting queries (Aster Express: ACT 1). We'll also have sample data sets for you to load, along with more advanced SQL-MR analytic examples. Stay tuned, there's much more fun to come!