[Beowulf] A couple of interesting comments

Dan.Kidger at quadrics.com Dan.Kidger at quadrics.com
Thu Jun 12 07:38:36 EDT 2008


Chris Samuel wrote:

>----- johnh at streamline-computing.com wrote:
>> All head nodes should have the BIOS set to localboot first.
>
>We set the interface on the internal cluster network to
>PXE and the external to not.

I agree.
but note that if you use ROCKS, it insists on the other way round:
  It wants to always reinstall a node on power up *unless* it has a working bootable partition, and it deliberately trashes the boot sector on a clean boot - only replacing it if the node is shut down cleanly.


The key point is that any machine that has state that should be kept (like a head node) should *never* PXE boot by default - possibly not even if the primary HDD won't boot properly - only PXE boot on human intervention.
PXE booting is concept of trust - that you trust the machine upstream of you to have full control of you, to delete and reinstall whatever it wants.


Daniel


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Dr. Daniel Kidger, Quadrics Ltd.   daniel.kidger at quadrics.com
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