[Beowulf] What services do you run on your cluster nodes?

Ashley Pittman apittman at concurrent-thinking.com
Mon Sep 22 15:05:38 EDT 2008


On Mon, 2008-09-22 at 14:56 -0400, Eric Thibodeau wrote:
> > My question is this: how extreme do you go in disabling non-essential
> > services on your cluster nodes? Do you turn off *everything* that's not
> > absolutely necessary, do you leave somethings running to make
> > administration easier?

If it were up to me I'd turn *everything* possible off except sshd and
ntp.  The problem however is the maintenance cost of doing this, it's
fine if you've only got one cluster and one app but as soon as you try
to support multiple users on multiple distributions the cost of ensuring
everything is shut down on all of them skyrockets and it becomes easier
which is to stick with the status quo :(

> Everything is turned off and, most of the time, a quick glance at 
> ganglia brings out problems. Simple scripts can be built to perform 
> cyclic checks on the nodes and would be less disruptive IMHO.
> > I'm curious to see how everyone else has their cluster(s) configured.

> The only actual research I found on OS interference impacting HPC 
> computing is titled "A measurement and simulation methodology for 
> parallel computing performance studies" by Matthew Joseph Sottile. I 
> would be curious to know if anyone else has dipped into the subject and 
> come up with conclusive results on the subject.

At medium to large scales it becomes hugely important,
http://www.sc-conference.org/sc2003/paperpdfs/pap301.pdf

Also look at "whatelse" from http://www.c3.lanl.gov/pal/software.shtml

Ashley Pittman.

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