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    How the Spanning Tree protocol organizes an Ethernet network

    Ethernet is so popular because it simply works and is inexpensive. However, the administration side looks a bit more complicated: For the network to run smoothly, the admin might need to make important decisions about the Spanning Tree protocol.

    ioprof, blktrace, and blkparse

    Understanding how applications perform I/O is important not only because of the volume of data being written and read, but because the performance of some applications is dependent on how I/O is conducted. In this article we profile I/O at the block layer to help you make the best storage decisions.

    Tool Your HPC Systems for Data Analytics

    As data analytics workloads become more common, HPC administrators need to assess their hardware, software, and processes.

    Graphite

    Graphite converts confusing columns of time series data into handy diagrams, showing trends in operating system and application metrics at a glance.

    A Better Builder

    Developers fed up with cryptic Makefiles should take a look at the new Meson build system, which is simple to operate, offers scripting capabilities, integrates external test tools, and supports Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

    Iron Ore

    Google Compute Engine removes the technical and financial headaches of maintaining server, networking, and storage.

    Parallel Shells

    The most fundamental tool needed to administer an HPC system is a parallel shell, which allows you to run the same command on a series of nodes. In this article, we look at pdsh.

    Nerve Center

    Ganglia is probably the most popular monitoring framework and tool, in that HPC, Big Data, and even cloud systems are using it. In this article, we show you how to install and configure Ganglia and get it up and running on a simple two-node system.

    Metadata for Your Data

    Understanding the proliferation of data in your filesystem is key to being an administrator. Understanding file sizes and file ages and their distribution helps you tune filesystems for performance and develop policies for data management.

    Storage in the Cloud

    When building cloud environments, you need more than just a scalable infrastructure; you also need a high-performance storage component. We look at Ceph, a distributed object store and filesystem that pairs well in the cloud with OpenStack.