Rocks Cluster is an open source project that provides users with a Linux distribution based on the CentOS operating system and designed from the ground up to offer a full featured cluster on a CD solution for Red Hat Linux clusters.
Previously known as NPACI Rocks Cluster Tool Kit, the distribution allows anyone to easily and quickly built a Rocks cluster. It also allows experienced users to build computational clusters, visualization tiled-display walls, and grid endpoints.
Based on CentOS
Being based on the CentOS Linux distribution, which in turn is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, the Rocks Cluster distro provides a powerful, stable and reliable enterprise-ready system that features a unique and simple installation process.
It comes with all the necessary tools for managing clusters, such as PBS, GM support, Maui, Ganglia, and more. You'll be able to deploy, upgrade, scale and manage clusters without much hassle. At the moment, only the 64-bit (x86_64) architecture is supported.
Getting started with Rocks Cluster
In order to built a compute cluster, users would have to create a bare-bones cluster, boot their front-end with the Kernel/Boot roll, and add the base Roll, OS Roll Disk 1, OS Roll Disk 2, and OS Disk 3 ISO images. For full featured clusters, you should also add the Area51, SGE, Ganglia, HPC, Python, Perl, and web-server rolls.
On the other hand, those of you who want to build a custom cluster should choose from Rocks Cluster's a la carte selection and download the Base and Kernel/Boot rolls, as well as all of the operating system rolls.
All in all, Rocks Cluster is a CentOS-based enterprise-ready Linux distribution used by hundreds of researchers worldwide to install their own cluster. It's a unique operating system powered by a plethora of open source technologies and engineered to easily deploy manageable clusters.