[Beowulf] network filesystem

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Fri Mar 2 17:46:01 EST 2007


> I have a small (16 dual xeon machines) cluster. We are going to add
> an additional machine which is only going to serve a big filesystem via
> a gigabit interface.

are you comfortable with the expected performance of this design?
that is, without any tuning/tweaking, you should achieve ~70 MB/s
assuming the server's local disk(s) can manage, etc.

> Does anybody knows what is better for a cluster of this size, exporting the
> filesystem via NFS or use another alternative such as a cluster filesystem
> like GFS or OCFS?

NFS is really easy.  for a small cluster and only Gb, I wouldn't 
even consider anything else.  once you get into hundreds of nodes
(or perhaps fewer very IO-intensive ones), alternatives are probably
necessary.  mostly, I'd decide on aggregate bandwidth requirements,
though I'm sure NFS overhead eventually becomes a problem (thousands 
of nodes).  I think your cluster would be very happy with 1-2 Gb
links from the server, fed with a nice fast md-based raid array.

regards, mark hahn.
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