[Beowulf] Authentication within beowulf clusters.

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Mon Feb 2 09:07:30 EST 2004


I have tried to avoid NIS on linux, as it appears not to be as stable as
needed under heavy load.  I have had customers bring it crashing down
when it serves login information, just by running simple scripts across
the cluster. 

I prefer pushing name service lookups through DNS, and I tend to use
dnsmasq for these (http://www.thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/doc.html). 
Setting up a full blown named/bind system for a cluster seems like
significant overkill in most cases.  

On the authentication side, I had high hopes for LDAP, but haven't been
able to easily/repeatably make a working LDAP server with databases.  I
am starting to think more along the lines of a simple database with pam
modules on the frontend.  See
http://freshmeat.net/projects/pam_pgsql/?topic_id=136 or
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pam-mysql/ for examples.  



On Mon, 2004-02-02 at 07:45, Brent M. Clements wrote:
> Nscd is a necessary evil sometimes though.
> 
> -B
> 
> Brent Clements
> Linux Technology Specialist
> Information Technology
> Rice University
> 
> 
> On Mon, 2 Feb 2004, Leif Nixon wrote:
> 
> > Jag <agrajag at dragaera.net> writes:
> >
> > > On Sat, 2004-01-31 at 10:25, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> > >
> > >> NIS works fine for many purposes as well, but be warned -- in certain
> > >> configurations and for certain tasks it becomes a very high overhead
> > >> protocol.  In particular, it adds an NIS hit to every file stat, for
> > >> example, so that it can check groups and permissions.
> > >
> > > A good way around this is to run nscd (Name Services Caching Daemon).
> >
> > I'm really, really suspicious against nscd. I've more than once seen
> > it hang on to stale information forever for no good reason at all.
> >
> > --
> > Leif Nixon                                    Systems expert
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > National Supercomputer Centre           Linkoping University
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
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