ALINKA Linux Clustering Letter
abrenner at alinka.com
Wed Apr 18 09:03:03 PDT 2001
Since one year now, the Alinka team has been writing
a weekly summary of the activity in mailing-lists
relative to linux clustering (such as beowulf, linux
virtual server, linux-ha or journaling file systems) and
general clustering news.
This "digest" is provided freely as a weekly email
from clustering at alinka.com and is intended to give
a good overview of the linux clustering news for people
without enough time to read all about it.
As the ALINKA Linux Clustering Letter covers this
mailing-list, and as many of you readers of this list
might not even know that the ALINKA Linux Clustering
Letter exists (We had an annoucement last year on the
mailing-lists, but we did not make any other posts),
I take the opportunity of the first birthday of the
ALINKA Linux Clustering Letter to tell you about it.
Here is a sample of the ALINKA Linux Clustering Letter.
If you like it, you can subscribe to the list: send an
e-mail to clustering at alinka.com from the address you
wish to subscribe, with the word "subscribe" in the subject.
-----------The ALINKA Linux Clustering Letter-------------
The ALINKA Linux Clustering Letter,
Wednesday, April the 11th. 2001
by Antoine Brenner (abrenner at alinka.com)
Dear readers, I am happy to send you this week's edition of
clustering at alinka.com
This edition is the 52th since we started the Letter: this
is also first birthday of the ALINKA Linux Clustering Letter !
clustering at alinka.com is a free weekly e-mail newsletter on linux
clustering. It provides a summary of the weekly activity in
mailing-lists relative to linux clustering (such as beowulf,
linux virtual server or linux-ha) and general clustering news.
For more information about ALINKA, see: http://www.alinka.com
News from the High Performance world, by Dr Laurent Gatineau
(lgatineau at alinka.com)
Tips and tricks from the Beowulf mailing list
* Scott Shealy [m1] seeks comparaison about P4 and Athlon. Some CPUs
benchmarks were given [m3, m5], but as Josh Fryman [m2] explain it
without a good compiler benchmarks could be not usefull. In the
memory side, P4 have a good bandwith, see [m4, m6]
* There was a long thread about what tools to use for cloning nodes.
Some pointers were given: systemimager , lui , Scyld,
kickstart from RedHat, Dolly , imgdisk , or just copy one hard
drive on an other one... One can of course use Alinka Raisin  !
* Don Morton [m1] was looking for information about PBS and PGI
interactions. He answered himself [m2] and gave a pointer to an
online documentation 
* J.W.Armstrong [m1] is looking for a parallel make for cluster. Greg
Lindahl [m2] warn him because compiles are not always CPU
bounds. Dean Carpenter [m3] gave a link to ANTS  (a load
balancing system). Andreas Boklund [m4] gave results with MPmake
* Javier Iglesias [m1] wants to build a cluster with two NICs per
node, one for administration and one for computation. He is looking
for advice. Robert G. Brown [m2] answered that on a cluster two
NICs could not help for some applications. Peter H. Koenig [m3] and
Dr O. Parchment [m4] gave two links two similar architecture [1,2].
* Wes Wells [m1] is looking for an alternative to NFS. Rob Latham
[m2] gave its opinion about some solutions. Jag [m3] and Greg
Lindahl [m4] wrote that AFS could have some limitations depending on
what is needed.
News from the High Availability world, by Guillaume GIMENEZ
(ggimenez at alinka.com)
* Ard van Breemen said [m1] that drbd and PostgreSQL 7.1
will be made for eachother.
* Mike Debreceni advise us that PostgreSQL before 7.1 is
very slow with protocol C.
* Wensong Zhang announces [m4] ipvs release 0.2.9 for kernel 2.4
is available on LVS website .
* Mike keefe posted [m5] a performance evaluation of LVS.
News on the Filesystems front, by Ludovic Ishiomin
(lishiomin at alinka.com)
* Clemens Hermann wanted to know if he could use Coda to do mail
Jan Harkes answered that Coda can give surprises on reintegration and
gave the URL of unisson  [2m].
* Steffen Neumann succeeded to build a prototype of a backup solution of
a Coda server, but had some concerns about large scale Backup [3m].
* Steffen Schaefer asked if it is possible to change the Venus timeout.
Jan Harles answered that it is possible but not adviseable because
of the protocol used by RPC2 [4m].
* Dermot Cassidy had problems to configure and run its
updateclnt/updatesrv daemon [5m].
* Steffen Neumann gave some tips about management of volumes on Coda and
* Oliver had some configuration questions on how to setup a replicated
volume [7m]. Jan Harkes gave explanations about VSG and how it is
used on clients and servers [8m].
* David Petterson had problems running procmail (can't read .procmailrc
in the home directory) [9m]. Jan Harkes described its configuration
that runs without any problems [10m].
[5m] http://www.coda.cs.cmu.edu/maillists/codalist-2001/0276.html and
* Anne Malicia had some questions about page cache management in GFS for
the 2.4 kernel [11m]. It appears she found a bug [12m].
* There was a thread about the implementation of flock() in GFS which
leaves the process in D-state (that increase the load of the machine)
[13m]. Eventually, Mike Tilstra modified the code so that only one
process is in a D state [14m].
* Gil Shallom asked about Callback policy and pointed that it has a big
impact about performance [15m]. Ken Preslan detailed the one adopted
in GFS [16m].
* David Zafman detailed features of the in-kernel membership service
written by Compaq and announced that it should be released in Open
Source [17m]. David Teigland enjoyed the announce [18m]. Jeff Darcy
was not convinced by in-kernel membership, and felt that it is better
to stay in user space [19m].
* There was a technical thread about integration of IBM DLM and GFS
* Vladimir Ivaschenko was not able to get to the b1_0_0 branch of the
Shirish Patak gave the tip [22m].
* Andreww Klaasseen wanted to know how close to production release is
JFS. Steve Best gave the plans [23m].
* James Lewis Nance reported the same problems he found with earlier
drop when building mozilla with the latest JFS drop [24m].
* Arthur Viak reported problems with vgcreate [25m]. Holger Grothe
asnwered that a kernel upgrade is needed [26m].
* Jonathan DeHaan upgraded from beta5 to beta6 and had problems with
[27m]. Andreas Dilger advices to use beta5 patch with beta5 tools [28m].
* There was a thread about the way to patch 2.2.19 with LVM [29m].
* Jorg de Jong announced lvmgui 0.3 [30m].
* Terje Kvernes announced the development of a LVM library in Perl
* Heinz Mauelshagen announced LVM 0.9.1beta7 [32m].
* Erik Bågfors was not able to remove a logical volume after using a
snapshot [33m]. Heinz Mauelshagen confirmed that it is an old bug
which is fixed in the latest version [34m].
* Brandy Dawkins asked if Oracle runs fine on XFS [35m]. Adam
Cioccarelli related its experience [36m] and Steve Lord added that
direct IO available with XFS should be a great interest to Oracle [37m].
* Stephen Adler reported its very good experience with XFS [38m].
* Ed McKenzie was unable to mount an XFS partition by label. After a bit
of investigation, he had the same problem with ext2 partition, and
concluded that the problem comes from mount and devfsd [39m].
* Ryo Ono wanted to partition a disk with XFS so that it would be
readable on both Irix and Linux [40m]. Nathan Scott recommended
to use the fx utility on Irix [41m], because fdisk on Linux does
not handle properly the SGI disklabel [42m], although the kernel
recognizes themp properly [43m].
* Thomas Graichen asked if LVM snapshoting is planned for XFS. Steve
Lord answered that this feature is planned, bu there still a lot of
work to stabilize XFS. He also announced that Peter Braam is working on
integrating snapfs and Intermezzo with XFS [44m].
* Lennert Buytenhek found a bug with XFS and named pipe [45m]. Steve
Lord confirmed it and hacked the cvs to correct it [46m].
* Doug wanted to know if CXFS (Clustered XFS filesystem) would be ported
to Linux. Steve Lord announced that a port is planned [47m].
* Justin Tripp reported a weird behavior on a NFS exported XFS
Steve Lord confirmed the problem and sent a patch [49m] which resolved
the problem [50m]. Later Ajay Shekhawat reported a oops on its
NFS server exporting an XFS volume [51m].
* Kenneth Leung tried the new RedHat Wolverine ISO image with XFS
support provided by SGI (0.10 prerelease) and found a problem with
automount [52m]. Russel Catalan confirmed this is a RedHat Wolverine
* Petru Paler was unable to compile XFS on a sparc64 box. He had to add
a #include in a XFS file [54m]. Later he reported an oops during XFS
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Alinka is the editor of the ALINKA ORANGES and ALINKA RAISIN
administration software for Linux clusters.
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