[Beowulf] Re: real hard drive failures

Alvin Oga alvin at Mail.Linux-Consulting.com
Tue Feb 1 16:58:51 EST 2005


On Tue, 1 Feb 2005, John Hearns wrote:

> > on that note, though - does anyone have comments about booting 
> > machines from flash?
> > 
> I've booted a mini-ITX system from flash,
> the distribution in question was a wireless access point.
> All you need is a CF to IDE adapter.

ANY system can be booted from CF ...

amd for an AP, you'd probably want to boot off a usb stick
since those are presumably hotswappable whereas CF is not

there are lots of "CF - ide adpators"

	pcengine.ch makes um and resells to the list of folks
	in the list jim posted
	( ituner(mini-box), logicsupply, etc ... )

	they also have those that plug the CF into the ide port
	on the motherboard

	- but, i havent seen any hotswap cf-ide adaptors yet though

> Its common to have firewall distributions, such as ipcop,
> to boot from flash.
> http://www.ipcop.org/1.4.0/en/install/html/mkflash.html

installing to 128MB or 256MB CF implies that you
install the minimum packages ( glibc + networking ) and
have the rest of your binaries on nfs-server:/usr/local/cluster-stuff
which gets automounted onto the CF-based nodes

it'd be good to keep a master CFnode ( minimal system install ) so that 
it can be updated and patched as needed on one place, and those patch
files also makes it to the next CF release for the other nodes  -- or
dont patch the cf after its made :-)
 
> I believe one wrinkle is to either log to a remote host,
> or if you log locally to log to a ramdisk and only write to
> the CF card at infrequent intervals.

writing to CF is good and bad ... since it has limited write
capabilities, but there's not much writing that needs to 
be done, and even if there is, one can write all the system
data to /dev/ramdisk instead of CF

the CF can be mounted read-only

c ya
alvin
 

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