[Beowulf] Reccomendations For Beowulf Cluster SMP Motherboards?

EKC webmaster at generalsynthesis.com
Fri Jun 9 05:09:25 EDT 2006


Hello,

I am going to build a 32-node Beowulf cluster interconnected by
tri-bonded gigabit Ethernet on a stack of SMC Layer-3 gigabit switches
(http://www.smc.com/index.cfm?event=viewProduct&localeCode=EN_USA&cid=8&scid=&pid=1533).

Each node will have a separate gigabit port to be used for
administration/job scheduling over a separate physical ethernet
segment.

I will be using Lustre as the cluster file system. Warewulf will be
used to bootstrap all of the nodes and push out configuration changes.
SLURM will be used for job scheduling and control.
 The network will be running on 9k jumbo frames.

Eight of the nodes will be dedicated to the Lustre backing stores and
metadata server (OSS, OST, and MDS in Lustre parlance). I am
considering using DRBD to provide redundancy between lustre storage
servers. The remaining nodes will all be diskless


I would like to find out what motherboards people would recommend for
a Linux cluster such as this? I have had nightmare experiences in the
past with "server-class" motherboards that barfed under SMP Linux. I
would like the motherboard to support 2 x dual-core opterons, at least
6GB of dual-channel ram, and have two gigabit Ethernet ports.

I like to build my own kernel from the latest Linux mainline release.
I'm comfortable with both Debian and Redhat. However, I'm worried
about purchasing a board with a troublesome southbridge, unfriendly
ethernet controllers, and poor stability under Linux.

Does anyone have experience with the K8N Master2-Far or the Asus
K8N-DL? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131059

Thanks!
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