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Re: "NFS Slave"??

Carlos O'Donell wrote:

a. Why are you using NIS on a beowulf cluster?
To distribute user login information to the nodes. If fact, to distribute
host IP information too, since we do not set up DNS within the private
net. You can distribute NIS netgroup information too, and use that to
reserve part of a cluster to a certain group of users, if you must.
Have you come across a true need for the use of NIS netgroups?

- Login information can be pushed out and synchronzied to nodes
	= Rsync, Scp.

Yes, but to use rsync and scp, you have to either type all of the root passwords, or set up keys to allow root to log in from one box to another. The first is extremely annoying, the second I'd rather not do for security reasons: I don't want to make it easy for someone to root my whole network by rooting one box.

(Of course, with diskless, the whole cluster can easily be compromised from the head node, but this is not the case for our network of workstations. If I'm using NIS for the latter, why not for the former too?)

I also haven't looked into options like LDAP. I've just been using NIS for years, and it is (usually) easy and straightforward to use, particularly with the excellent howto in the .deb.

Have I overlooked something?

- Nodes in the cluster shouldn't be accessing outside world information
	= Static hosts file should be fine

Sure, this is what I have.

In my experience, NIS traffic and NIS setup in general doesn't add enough benefit to the cluster. It does add internal network traffic and
slows down many network oriented library calls.

Really? I haven't experienced this in my previous cluster, nor on our workstations.

Would a solution be:
	- Add multiple NIC's to the NFS server.
	- Plug it into both networks.

Now that you mention it... :-)

The only problem I can think of is IRQ conflicts. I'm not a BIOS guru, so I've had to shuffle around the PCI cards on that machine to prevent conflicts; if I add another card it would be hard to prevent this problem. (Darned interrupt-starved PC hardware! I have more than 20 IRQs to play with on my $500 five years ago powermac clone!)

And we'll probably add a third cluster in another year or two. So if I can avoid tons of NICs on the main server, I will.


-Adam P.

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