Cluster distributions?

Julien Leduc julien.leduc at imag.fr
Fri Sep 19 15:05:21 EDT 2003


Hi,

> I've been running a very small 4 node beowulf cluster for a project. Right
> now I'm running Debian on the cluster and I'm not very happy with it or
> the tools available through the distribution.
> 
> Does anyone have any suggestions of a good distribution? What about
> MSC.Linux? any good?

You should have a try with CLIC distribution or mandrake clustering, it automates deployment of the nodes and setup everything (NIS, dhcp, pxe ...) you need to run the cluster.
Deployment is very fast (I am working on it, intensively use it), and reliable (for example, it takes me 3 minutes to clone 15 nodes, including the reboot).

> I am also looking for tools to automate software installations across all
> the nodes, etc.

There is also urpmi parallel, that allow you to install packages over the cluster (you can even install a single machine with compiled sources and deploy it on the cluster).

> I like the Debian package system, I just wish there was an easy way to
> have the process replicate across all the computers.

If you want, you can only use the ka-tools, with a "correctly" configured environement (ie ssh to any node from a server without pass authentification, relying on keys for ex), you can execute your aptget on all your nodes (the problem will be the bandwidth throughput here, but I don't think it is an issue for a 4 nodes cluster...).
You can try to use tools to spread your .deb packages efficiently over the network (mput for example, from the ka-tools, so that you won't have to compile anything but these tools to optimize your already existing installation).

These tools are developped in my lab, and are very performant (and scalable) and also opensource.

So you should have a closer look at http://ka-tools.sourceforge.net/ the are in deepth explanations about the method used.

Regards,

	Julien Leduc


Developper & Cluster admin
Informatique et distribution Web:  http://www-id.imag.fr
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