Project Introduction

The Remote Software Toolkit (ReST) project was started after observing the difficulties involved in distributing, maintaining, and monitoring software in distributed environments. It is not uncommon for the effort needed to distribute a piece of software across a large, heterogeneous environment to outweigh the benefit of having the software in such an environment. ReST aims to provide a framework for application developers, rather than a suite of applications for users of distributed environments. The three primary parts of the ReST project are the ReST Installer, Explorer, and Monitor. Each component has been written to be modular and easily extended for use in a wide range of other projects.

ReST Installer

Software installation in a heterogeneous environment often require a user to login to numerous machines and perform roughly the same tasks on each. Further compounding the problem, most source distributed software installation requires both a lengthy and confusing configuration, compilation, and installation process. The Remote Software Toolkit (ReST) Installer provides a familiar, wizard-like interface to source and binary distributed software that can be used to install software in a heterogeneous environment easily and automatically. At the core of the ReST Installer is the ReST package model. By defining the structure of the ReST software packages, software maintainers are provided a way to define their software's requirements and options as an "Install Wizard" using the ReST Installer. Allowing the user to be presented complex options in a simplified manner, shifting the burden of software installation from the user to the software provider.
Remote Software Installer displaying the NetSolve package.

ReST Explorer

The difficulties of using a grid environment don't end once the software has been installed. Without careful notes during installation it is easy to forget where software has been installed, the options used to configure the installation and sometimes even which machines are available. These reasons as well as others provided the motivation behind the development of the Remote Software Explorer. The Remote Software Explorer, or ReST Explorer, provides an interface similar to a filesystem or network explorer for managing computers and software packages. The ReST Explorer gives users a quick overview of the hardware and software resources available through ReST in a friendly and useful interface.

ReST Monitor

Once the software environment has been installed and configured, it is critical for users be able to easily monitor the health of the system. Many software packages aready provide products that allow for such monitoring, but so far no generic toolkit for such service monitoring exists. The ReSM aims to provide a unified interface to these monitors. By providing developers with a flexible toolkit on which to base their monitoring software, users will be able to oversee their grid applications from one common interface. For more information about ReSM, please read the ReSM section later in this document.

Jul 19 2018 Contact: Admin Login