CLIC = Mandrake Cluster Distribution

Erwan Velu erwan at mandrakesoft.com
Tue Sep 24 06:44:08 EDT 2002


Le mar 24/09/2002 à 01:07, Donald Becker a écrit :
> This cluster distribution still has the problem common to many other
> old-style cluster systems: by cloning full installations it has
> significant long-term maintainence and consistency problems.

This distribution is just at the end of its first development stage but
already features urpmi with a "parallel installation" feature.
For those who don't know "urpmi" there is a slashdot poll "aptget vs
urpmi"
http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/06/28/0611240&mode=thread&tid=147
Urpmi sources can be local, nfs, http, ftp, ssh & rsync. 

The parallel installation feature of urpmi allows users to update their
nodes from one central server. The server ask each node the packages it
needs, uploads them to the nodes using a parallel copy (ka-tools
:http://ka-tools.sourceforge.net/) then nodes updates their systems
using local packages.
Therefore the maintainence of the cluster is really easy, just add rpms
in the server and deploy them on all nodes in one single action.

The cloning process uses the same technology. One node is considered as
the "golden node" that runs the duplication server. The other nodes are
booting (using PXE) the client side of the application.
When all nodes are present (booted), the duplication starts using
ka-tools.
We are duplicating nodes at 10MB/sec on a fast ethernet switch; from 1
to 200 nodes are duplicated in less than 2-3 minutes !

> Nor does it have any approach to scalability or system observability.
> [[ Just venting at the advertising nature of this posting: this appears
> to be just a me-too collection of unrelated tools, with no overall
> design or architecture.  Where is the innovation or contribution? ]]
CLIC is really a Clustering distribution because the Linux distro and
the clustering tools are merged. One of the main features of this
development is to let the users easily install the OS and the clustering
layer in one shot.
Several scientists (cluster testers) have tested it and consider it as a
nearly turn key solution very easy to setup due to the autoconfiguration
tools (DNS,DHCP,PXE,MPICH,PVM,LAM,NIS,GANGLIA,remote commands).
The installation process is really fast, we just need 1 hour (once the
hardware setup is done) to install and deploy the cluster.

linuxely yours,
-- 
Erwan Velu
Linux Cluster Distribution Project Manager
MandrakeSoft
43 rue d'aboukir 75002 Paris
Phone Number : +33 (0) 1 40 41 17 94
Fax Number   : +33 (0) 1 40 41 92 00
Email        : erwan at mandrakesoft.com
Web site     : http://clic.mandrakesoft.com
OpenPGP key  : http://www.mandrakesecure.net/cks/ 
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