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Re: [Beowulf] how useful is bproc, and what does Scyld cost?

Greetings!  No direct experience with diskless setups, but all the
cluster applications I need work out of the box on Debian.  There are
even precompiled atlas libraries for several common cpu
subarchitectures.  We've been running ours for about 7 years -- 1
software install, 3 hardware upgrades, and nothing but 'apt-get
upgrade' since.

Take care,

Andrew Piskorski <atp@piskorski.com> writes:

> I'm tentatively planning a small cluster that might or might not
> actually get built.  My current plan is somewhere from 5-20 nodes, 1-2
> x86 CPUs per node (exact CPU flavor undecided), gigabit ethernet, and
> all nodes either entirely diskless, or using 1 IDE disk solely for
> swap and /tmp.
> I would prefer to have as much as posible of the cluster software
> infrastructure Just Work, rather than having to spend lots of time
> rolling my own.  (I will be spending enough time on the custom
> software I actually want to RUN on the cluster as is.)  I am, of
> course, quite willing to select hardware in order to make the software
> job easier on myself.
> Since I want to go diskless anyway, so far I am also leaning towards a
> bproc based cluster.  I only know of two bproc-based cluster
> distributions, Scyld and Clustermatic.  Scyld is commerical and costs
> money, Clustermatic is not and does not.  Are there any others?  In
> particular, are there any Debian based systems that play nicely out of
> the box with bproc?
> How much time and effort is Scyld actually going to save me over using
> Clustermatic?  How much is either going to save me over completely
> rolling my own, preferably using Debian rather than the old and
> outdated versions of Red Hat that Scyld and Clustermatic seem to use?
> Also, are there any major drawbacks or snafus I should worry about in
> going down the bproc route?
> Finally, just what DOES Scyld actually cost?  Can anyone give me a
> rough idea?
> >From Scyld's website, I can't tell whether they charge 50 cents or
> $5,000 per node, and the Scyld/Penguin salesman seemed unable to spit
> out any kind of ballpark price at all.  AFAICT, Scyld seems to expect
> you to first actually build your cluster, and then send them your
> cluster's complete hardware specs, down to the smallest detail, in
> order to get any kind of quote!
> Thanks!
> -- 
> Andrew Piskorski <atp@piskorski.com>
> http://www.piskorski.com/
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Camm Maguire			     			camm@enhanced.com
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."  --  Baha'u'llah

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