[Beowulf] Re: Help: Building a disked Beowulf / Chaitanya Krishna, Brown et al

Chaitanya Krishna icymist at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 15:54:06 EDT 2005


Hi Guys,

Thanks a lot for all your responses. Looks like I first have to do a
lot of ground work. Give me some time to do it. I will do it and come
back to you guys.

Thanks once again, especially rgb at duke.

Regards,
Chaitanya.


On 8/25/05, Ed Karns <edkarns at firewirestuff.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> On Aug 25, 2005, at 3:39 AM, beowulf-request at beowulf.org wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> ... the resources that I have are these: 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> 1 Intel Pentium 4 3 Ghz Procs   10 
> 
> 2 Intel Mother boards                10 
> 
> 3 200 GB SATA Hard disks       10 
> 
> 4 120 GB IDE Hard disks           10 
> 
> 5 Network cards                          10 + 1 (1 extra for master) 
> 
> 6 Some already present switches 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> All the IDE drives will be primary (the OS will reside on this) and 
> 
> the SATA drives will be use as secondary drives for storage) 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> My plan (and requirement) is the following: 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> 1 To get the cluster up and running parallel jobs. 
> 
> 2 The way I intend to do 1 is this. Install the OS (SuSE 9.3 Pro) on 
> 
> the master and install bare-bones ( I am not sure, but may be something 
> 
> like kernel, NFS and/or NIS, SSH, etc) on the rest of the nodes so 
> 
> that I am able to run parallel jobs as well as serial jobs on the 
> 
> nodes. Will require help on this. 
> 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> Your hardware looks perfectly reasonable for a small cluster.  Let's hope
> that your NICs and switches "match" in some way -- enough ports, gigabit
> ports and gigabit cards, whatever.  One has to wonder a bit about why the
> nodes have both a 120 GB IDE and 200 GB SATA drive instead of e.g.
> 2x[120,200] GB SATA only.  I've never mixed drives like this and would
> expect that it works but would worry that it might do something to
> performance (Mark Hahn usually is the answer man as far as the overall IDE
> drive subsystem is concerned:-). 
>  
> 
> * Hardware suggestions:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Take the "master" off of any alternate network until complete debugging of
> the cluster is accomplished (unplug it, at the least, and remove that
> "alternate" NIC if possible) ... set the whole thing up as a completely
> stand alone cluster until it works as required.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> I would also wonder about the switches (10/100baseT = :>]  or Gigabit
> switches = :>) ?)  If two switches, then "balance" the loads = same number
> of CAT5 connections on each switch = 5 & 5 plus jumper, if three switches =
> 3 & 3 & 4 plus jumpers.
> 
> 
> All BIOS configurations on all systems should closely match, especially I/O
> port configurations. All NIC (network cards) should match = brand name and
> model type where possible.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Although I do not speak from authority on this type of x86 cluster, my best
> guess to increase performance would be to use the SATA drivers completely
> for the OS and cluster work and use the IDE drives for mirroring and backup
> (the exact reverse of your configurations) ... keeping the IDE drives off of
> the cluster if possible ... or even remove the IDE drives from the systems
> and make a RAID array for the cluster network.
> 
> web-pages
> 
> * OS and software configurations = Trust Mr. Hearns', DGS' and Mr. Brown's
> suggestions.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From John Hearns: 
> 
> " ... You could do worse than to consult Robert Brown's web-pages, Google
> for Brahma and Duke University. Also get a copy of the OReilly book on Linux
> clustering, the latest one. ..."
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From DGS:
> 
> " ... You should look into some of the cluster "toolkits".  Free ones
> include OSCAR, ROCKS, Warewulf, and oneSIS.  My favorite is Warewulf, though
> ROCKS is probably the nearest you can get to a "cluster in a box" for free.
> ..."
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From Robert Brown:
> 
> " ... I'm assuming that the NICs are PXE-capable and that you've got a KVM
> setup that you can move from machine to machine somehow to set the BIOS and
> manage at least the initial install. ..." 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Ed Karns
> 
> FireWireStuff.com
> 
>  
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> 
> 


-- 
To err is human, but to really screw up you need a computer.

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