[Beowulf] cluster toolkit comparison questions

Michael Will mwill at penguincomputing.com
Tue Aug 9 03:13:50 EDT 2005


 >> Afternoon all,
 >>    I am in the process of making some assessments for architecture on
 >>  a new cluster we are building and I have a couple of questions
 >>  comparing OSCAR vs. Rocks. I certainly don't mind having other options
 >> presented, but diskless options like warewulf are already precluded
 >> because of administrative fiat.


You should look at Scyld. Our solution dramatically simplifies the
deployment, management and day-to-day use of Linux cluster resources.
It's also commercially developed and supported. It can also be
configured to work with either disked or diskless compute nodes as well
as multiple directories on different file systems. Adding or deleting of
resources can be done in seconds.

Maybe you can detail what administrative fiat you are worried about,
because in my experience, having diskless booting nodes makes
administration super-easy. Diskless booting does not mean that you
cannot put in a disk for application temporary scratch space etc, it just
means that all configuration has to be done only on the headnode and that
adding new nodes does not require any installation on the node.

 >> 1)  How well can Oscar or Rocks be integrated with an LDAP directory?

Scyld: Because the Scyld system is centrally configured through the head
node, an integration with LDAP only has to be done once. All the basic
infrastructure code to support LDAP is already in place; however, LDAP
is not commercially supported at this time.

 >> 2)  Does Oscar and/or Rocks have support for multiple head nodes? 

Scyld: Yes. The system can be configured for multiple head nodes to
provide high availability of computing resources.


 >> 3) Does either toolkit have problems with home directories coming off
 >> from a separate NFS appliance instead of living on a filesystem on the
 >> head node that gets exported to the compute nodes directly from there?


Scyld: There are no file system restrictions placed on the system.
Directories can be configured by a simple text file either globally or
on a node-by-node basis.

Michael Will
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