[Beowulf] Booting fom a SAN disk using FC-over-Iinfiniband

ctierney at hypermall.net ctierney at hypermall.net
Wed Nov 2 11:58:33 EST 2005


Quoting Paulo Afonso Lopes <pal at di.fct.unl.pt>:

> 
> > Quoting Chris Samuel <csamuel at vpac.org>:
> >
> >> > b) And what if the host (an IBM JS20 blade) we want to boot is not
> >> > directly FC-attached to the SAN, but is Infiniband attached to a IB
> >> > gateway (a TopSpin 90 with the FC gateway module) and the IB switch is
> >> > connected to an FC switch (8 port Brocade)? Is it still possible to
> >> > "remote" boot it?
> >>
> >
> > Did you purchase the firmware update to support boot-over-IB?  As of 6
> > months ago, Topspin charged for this feature.
> >
> > Craig
> >
> 
> We are in the process of gathering information (we've asked IBM and
> Cisco/Topspin, no answer yet) to validate this configuration, and then
> buying the Topspin switch and gateway. Was Topspin bought by Cisco 6
> months ago? That could explain the extra charge... :-)

The extra charge was Topspin's idea.  We looked into boot-over-ib from
Topspin over a year ago, before the Cisco purchase.


> 
> The "configuration under scrutiny" is (I hope the mail clients do not
> compress the blanks and distort the figure):
> 
> FC-attached
>    hosts
>          +-------+     +------+
>  H1------|Brocade|-----| IBM  |-LUNx
> ...      |  FC   |     | Disk |
>  Hn------|switch |-----|Array |
>          +-------+     +------+
>              |
>              |
>          +--------+
>          |        |Topspin FC-IB gateway module
>          +--------+
>  Hx------|        |Topspin 90
> ...      |        | IB switch
>  Hz------|        |
>          +--------+
> IB attached
>    hosts
> 
> What we want to be sure is that an IB attached host, say Hx, can boot from
> an FC LUN, say LUNx; and then, after booting, we can use the IB
> infrastructure to support both "IB traffic" (e.g., MPI applications
> running in the Hx...Hz cluster) and "FC traffic" (Hx...Hz can access the
> disk array).
> 
> Regards,
> 

In theory this should work.  I have no experience with
this configuration.  When we looked into boot-over-ib, we 
wanted PXEboot functionality, not access to luns.

My guess is that there aren't many who can help on 
this list.  Most Beowulf users are going to boot from
local disk or boot over network (PXE), but not over the SAN.
Booting over the SAN is not practical for cluster nodes because
each system would need its own lun.  

Craig



> paulo
> 
> 
> --
> Paulo Afonso Lopes                        | Tel: +351- 21 294 8536
> Departamento de Informática               | 294 8300 ext.10763
> Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia        | Fax: +351- 21 294 8541
> Universidade Nova de Lisboa               | e-mail: pal at di.fct.unl.pt
> 2829-516 Caparica, PORTUGAL
> 
> 




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