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Re: First Beowulf cluster. Some pointers?

stramiello wrote:

> > What I was thinking (correct me if I'm thinking wrong here) is to
> > have all the disks (only 4*105Mb) in one machine. This machine will
> > have a a gfx card (Don't know which type, it's colour anyway), 32Mb
> > ram (or more, if the 'clients' is fine with only 16Mb)...
> I think you're going to need a larger hdd than that. To have an NFS-root
> diskless cluster, you really need separate copies of the OS storied on the
> master node for each of the slave nodes.

You don't really mean this in its strongest sense, right?  I mean, they might
need separate root and /var (can they safely share /var/lib and /var/spool?),
maybe a few different files in /etc (though most of that can be symlinked to a
common read-only /etc), but they can easily share /usr, which can account for
60-80% of the disk usage, and of course /home.

Given that a minimal Debian install fits in about 30-40 MB (less than that with
the new locales), well, it will still probably require a bit more space and 15
small root partitions, but not that much more.  That is, depending on what it's
used for.

Then again, if the application is not well-suited to MPI, MOSIX might be more
relevant than traditional Beowulf.  In that configuration, threads/processes are
distributed across the machines, so utilization of the cluster depends on how
many processes are active at once.  But after about 5 machines I don't think
there would be much improvement for standard tasks (like compiling etc.),
especially those that are disk-intensive.

-Adam P.

              Welcome to the best software in the world today cafe!

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