The Apache VCL project.
VCL, Virtual Computing Lab. The VCL can be many things, first and foremost it is a open-source system used to dynamically provision and broker remote access to a dedicated compute environment for an end-user. The provisioned computers are typically housed in a data center and may be physical blade servers, traditional rack mounted servers, or virtual machines. VCL can also broker access to standalone machines such as a lab computers on a university campus.
One of the primary goals of VCL is to deliver a dedicated compute environment to a user for a limited time through a web interface. This compute environment can range from something as simple as a virtual machine running productivity software to a machine room blade running high end software (i.e. a CAD, GIS,statistical package or an Enterprise level application) to a cluster of interconnected physical (bare metal) compute nodes.
Also using the scheduling API it can be used to automate the provisioning of servers in a server farm or HPC cluster.
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Documentation (work in progress: Diagrams, Install guide)
The conceptual overview below shows that remote users connect to the VCL Scheduling Application (the web VCL portal) and request access to a desired application environment. The application environment consists of an operating system and a suite of applications. The computer types are machine room blade servers, vmware virtual machines, and standalone machines.
Bare-metal = a physical server (such as a blade server) as opposed to a virtual machine
Node = a computer
Resource = a compute node, an image, a management node, or a schedule
Management Node = a process server or the machine where vcld is running; processes user requests assigned by the scheduler; does the provisioning
See the VCL Installation documentation for more information