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Mainframe-like computers


I work for a small company which - among things - builds Linux clusters
(last week I installed a small Debian based IA64 cluster).
Therefore UNIX vendors invite me to "technical" seminars (lets call them
pre-presales meetings). Big iron vendors like SUN, HP/Compaq and IBM have
technology to create partitions/domains of a big server.

SUN's N1 <http://wwws.sun.com/software/solutions/n1/index.html> is claimed
(by SUN) to be the way to go but I guess that IBM has had that sort of
technology in many years (in the MVS system) and VMS can do similar
things. Virtualization and partitioning are "good old" mainframe

Sitting idle for a minute (during a SUN presentation) I have wondering if
I could build something like that using Linux. Since Debian is my distro
of choice, I post to this list. My idea is first to create a pool of
machines in a single system image. One could use OpenSSI
<http://openssi.org> or OpenMosix <http://www.openmosix.org>. And some
distributed shared memory and share file system is also important. Then I
need to create virtual servers.  Well, Plex86 <http://www.plex86.org>
might be the best solution (but restrict me to use IA32 only) since I will
be able to run different operating systems. Vserver
<http://www.solucorp.qc.ca/miscprj/s_context.hc> might be another

In order to make it much easier to work like my idea above, I need to
create some kind of administration software and probably craft a
subdistro of Debian so the installation of my cluster would be much

Does my ideas sound totally insane? Or do there exist a couple of other
insane Debian user like me?


Kenneth Geisshirt, M.Sc., Ph.D.         http://kenneth.geisshirt.dk
Grøndals Parkvej 2A, 3. sal                    kenneth@geisshirt.dk
DK-2720 Vanløse                                     +45 38 87 78 38

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