[Beowulf] portable clusters

DGS dgs at gs.washington.edu
Mon Nov 28 13:47:53 EST 2005


> >> Has anyone done a diskless cluster (i.e. boot the nodes off the network)
> >> where the nodes run Linux but the headnode/server is a WinXP/Win2K box?
> >>
> >> Think in terms of booting off the drive in a laptop.
> >>
> >> The application is one where the raw data that's being processed is
> >> collected by peculiar hardware for which only windows drivers are 
> >available.
> >
> >Why does the Windows box need to be the head node? Just make it a
> >dedicated data collection system, and have a normal Linux head node.
> 
> Only want to have ONE disk in the system, and it needs to be in the Windows 
> box to support the the data acq function.  Dual boot of the laptop isn't a 
> viable option for a variety of reasons.
> 
> As far as the cluster goes, one could still have one of the nodes as "head 
> node" and serving as the portal through which all communication 
> flows.  However, the challenge seems to be in serving the boot images.  I 
> suppose that headnode could be flash disk'ed and run the dhcp server, with 
> the actual images being served from the laptop.  All that would need to be 
> on the headnode would be the dhcp configuration file and the PXE 
> configuration stuff.

With Intel VT processors, you could run the two operating systems
virtualized under Xen.  I don't know if those CPUs are yet available.

David S.



> 
> hmm.. starts to look like local boot media of some sort on at least one of 
> the nodes is going to be necessary.
> 
> >-- greg
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> James Lux, P.E.
> Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
> Flight Communications Systems Section
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> Pasadena CA 91109
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