How to get started . . .

Andrew Shewmaker shewa at inel.gov
Fri Jun 6 12:46:22 EDT 2003


Nuclear Nine wrote:
> I am a newbie as well.  What does everyone think about the Rocks cluster
> distribution?  According to their website it seems like the easiest
> solution.  Any comments.

Rocks is very easy to use.  I found it a bit easier to set up than 
OSCAR, but I think OSCAR has some other advantages (e.g., it can be in 
can be installed on several distributions).  Both Rocks and OSCAR are 
great ways to build first generation beowulf clusters, and I hear 
Mandrake's is nice too.

However, I believe all of these use NFS for at least /home.  This may 
not affect you much on a small clusters, but it depends on your 
application.  I avoid using NFS whenever I can.  When/if you encounter
bottlenecks with NFS, you should consider looking at lustre 
(www.lustre.org), PVFS (www.parl.clemson.edu/pvfs/), and v9fs 
(www.clustermatic.org).

In addition to using NFS, these first generation cluster environments 
use ssh or rsh to start processes on the compute nodes.  These work 
okay, but bproc (bproc.sf.net) provides a better way IMO.

-Andrew

-- 
Andrew Shewmaker, Associate Engineer
Phone: 1-208-526-1276
Idaho National Eng. and Environmental Lab.
P.0. Box 1625, M.S. 3605
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415-3605

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