[Beowulf] Hypothetical Situation

Brent M. Clements bclem at rice.edu
Thu Jan 22 10:29:09 EST 2004

We have a request by some of our research scientists to form a beowulf
cluster that provides the following abilities:

1. It must be part of a shared computing facility controlled by a batch
queuing system.
2. A normal user must be able to compile a customized kernel, then submit
a job with a variable pointing to that kernel. The batch queuing system
must then load that kernel onto the allocated nodes and reboot the nodes
2a. If the node doesn't come back up after rebooting, the job must be
canceled and the node rebuilt automatically with a stable kernel/image.
3. When the job is finished, the node must be rebuilt automatically using
a stable kernel/image.

The admin's here have come up with a name for this:  "user
provisioned os imaging". Our gut feeling is that this can be done but it
will be a highly customized system. What is everyone's thoughts,
experiences, etc etc concerning doing something like this?


Brent Clements
Linux Technology Specialist
Information Technology
Rice University

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