FW: [OT?] Using clusters of computers for redundancy

Jakob Oestergaard jakob at unthought.net
Mon Mar 10 09:54:47 EST 2003

On Mon, Mar 10, 2003 at 08:18:56AM -0000, Cannon, Andrew wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > 

Hello Andrew,

> > We're starting to look into using clusters for Monte Carlo calculations,
> > and the suggestion has been put forward that we can use clusters of
> > computers to run things like mail programs or server type applications,

Well that's certainly different from Monte Carlo  ;)

> > using the multi-processor capabilities of the cluster to ensure redundancy
> > should a node fail.


> > 
> > Is a Beowulf cluster applicable for this, or is it a function that is more
> > commonly used in the actual OS?

A "Beowulf cluster" is actually just a bunch of networked COTS (Common
Off-the-shelf) computers running Linux.

If you have two computers in your office running Linux, you have a
Beowulf cluster.  By definition   :) 

Other people on this list set up boxes by the hundreds (or more? ;)

The kind of fail-over service that I think you're talking about is
commonly run on Linux boxes, which by the nature of that service are
netowrked, and therefore I guess you could say that such service is
indeed run on Beowulf clusters.

In general however, people will tend to think "scientific" rather than
"service" when one says "Beowulf" to them.

I do not understand the part about the OS you wrote above - can you try
to clarify that question please?   Or someone else please jump in  ;)

> > 
> > Sorry if this is off topic.

Well, it's unusual on this list  :)

Most things are on-topic, as long as they relate directly or indirectly
to lots of Linux boxen in a network - doing whatever it is they do...

You may find better forums than this list for the questions you will run
into, if you go ahead with such a setup.  Failover etc.  configurations
are everyday setups on the internet - mail exchangers have priorities,
name servers have slaves, web servers have load balancers etc. etc.  A
regular system administration list may well be a better answer for you -
I don't know.

So go ahead.  What do you want to know?   If we can't tell you the
answer, or if it really goes way OT, someone will tell you - that's for
sure   ;)


:   jakob at unthought.net   : And I see the elder races,         :
:.........................: putrid forms of man                :
:   Jakob Østergaard      : See him rise and claim the earth,  :
:        OZ9ABN           : his downfall is at hand.           :
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