Need Rocks cluster feedback

Robert Kane rkane at scs.carleton.ca
Wed Sep 17 09:32:03 EDT 2003


The experience I've had with Rocks has been fairly positive. For what
it's worth though we're still using v2.3.2 and v3.0.

The pros for Rocks are generally the ease of use. Everything (OS and
tools [excluding lam-mpi]) are included in one very straightforward
package. Getting a cluster up and running is fairly quick. A quick linux
install on the frontend and then a couple minutes for each node to
install. Assuming no problems, getting our 64 node cluster from scratch
to up and running shouldn't take more than half-day.

The cons. The above time estimate assumed that no problems occurred.
When upgrading recently we did have some form of inexplicable glitch
that caused the post-install configuration on the frontend to fail and
have to be configured manually. I should point out that this error was
the only time something like that has been known to happen. I should
also point out that another pro to using Rocks is the helpful advice of
the Rocks developers. When we had the above mentioned glitch, one of the
developers graciously spent a fair amount of time making sure everything
was working fine.

Robert Kane
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