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So you are energized about HPCC Systems and ready to take the leap and "Jump In!" There are three things you will need to do.

  1. Install the server components and boot up your own supercomputer.
  2. Load up some data.
  3. Install the ECL programming interface and "do something!"

This post only deals with Step 1: Boot it Up. The obvious questions are... "From a standing start, how easy is it to install and boot up the HPCC Systems platform?" "Do I need to be a Linux expert?" "How long does it take to be up and running?" All good questions. The answers in order are "Easy", "No" and "Less than 5 mins" (for a one node). When you want to scale up to a multinode environment there is some additional configuration but for the purposes of "Jumping in" you don't need to care. This is because of two key reasons:

  1. A suitable one node with enough memory and processors is almost always sufficient for initial data science projects.
  2. Any ECL you hack together will be the same regardless of whether it is a 1 node or a 1000 nodes!

So a one node is a great place to start small; scaling up from there to a massive multi-node supercomputer is easy enough. For the purpose of booting up a single node HPCC System, you can download and boot up the HPCC Systems VM or if you have spare 64bit hardware burning a hole on your back shelf somewhere (you know you do!). I will install it by hand on an Ubuntu 12.04 desktop so you can see for yourself, without smoke and mirrors. It is so easy even a 10 year old can install it, so my youngest daughter has kindly agreed to narrate it for me to spice things up for fun! There are 5 simple steps to install the platform:

  1. Download the platform install from the HPCC Systems website.
  2. Install the platform: sudo dpkg -i hpcc...
  3. Resolve dependancies: sudo apt-get install -f
  4. Start the platform: sudo service hpcc-init start
  5. Open ECLWatch web admin tool.

There you have it! Your own supercomputer platform in 5 mins or less! Formal installation instructions can be found at Installing and running the HPCC Systems platform. So what next? Step 2: Load some data! Stay tuned!