[Beowulf] portable clusters

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Wed Nov 30 00:26:25 EST 2005


> The goal here is to have a credible concept to improve the "system" 
> performance by adding on a computatational element to an existing portable 
> system that is Windows based without requiring any hardware changes to the 
> windows system, or without requiring significant software mods to the 
> windows system (i.e. running some new program is ok, running a windows 
> emulator is not).

this seems fairly quixotic to me, since you also seem to be planning on 
some sort of small cluster of token (via, etc) processors.  it's rather 
easy to imagine cases where a decent ruggedized 4x2 linux box would easily
outperform a 16x via cluster.

but in any case, what's the problem?  you know you can run dhcp and tftp
from windows, and it's not as if a PXE-booted linux box requires a "unixy"
root disk.  with initrd, you don't need kernel nfs-root support, and could 
certainly get by mounting a cifs share from the windows box.  heck, with a 
specialized enough system, you could probably put _everything_ you need in
the initrd - no one says you have to do the normal init process, /etc/rc.d, etc.

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