[Beowulf] OS for 64 bit AMD

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Thu Mar 31 10:04:28 PST 2005

Actually Redhat now has HPC pricing per node.  There are other good 
reasons to look elsewhere for HPC distributions though, specifically due 
to their lack of good high performance/scalable per-node file system. 
SuSE at least makes XFS and JFS available, and you can build/install a 
system with these.  Redhat prefers that you use ext3.  Another issue for 
the RHEL3 were the ancient kernels with many backports of advanced 
functionality from modern kernels.  Additionally adding modules for new 
hardware support into their boot process is a minor nightmare...

Chris Dagdigian wrote:
> I second Joe's comments.
> All of our Opteron systems run Suse 9.2 by default and we use Centos-4 
> for "Redhat" compatible functionality when required since Redhat has 
> explicitly chosen to price themselves out of the cluster market for 
> everything except 2-way 32bit boxes.
> Suse 9.1/9.2 on Opteron and Suse Enterprise Linux (SLES 8/9) on Itanium 
> Systems (meaning our SGI Altix) have been extremely stable and useful in 
> our work. Highly recommended.
> -Chris
> Joe Landman wrote:
>> Hi Mike:
>>   Opterons will do better with a 2.6 kernel (2.6.9 and higher).  If 
>> you are going to use RHEL, you might want to look at Rocks (RHEL3 
>> based) or Warewulf which should be able to sit atop RHEL4.  If you 
>> want to use a Redhat work-alike, you might want to look closely at 
>> Centos4.
>>   I am sure others will take issue with this, but I would strongly 
>> advise against using a rolling beta OS (FC-x) as the basis for a 
>> production cycle machine.  If it is a purely experimental cluster, go 
>> for it.  If it is supposed to provide cycles to a wide group, you 
>> might look more closely at a supported/supportable distribution.
>>   We have had good luck with SuSE 9.x (x>=1), RHEL3, CentosX on 
>> clusters using a variety of meta-distributions (warewulf, Rocks, 
>> others).  Most of our customers seem to prefer the RHEL series, so we 
>> tend to work with that more than others, but YMMV.
>> joe
>> Mike Davis wrote:
>>> What OSes are Opteron clusters out there running. Is anyone running 
>>> FC2 on opterons?
>>> I'm looking at opterons for our next cluster, but I'm not sure about 
>>> what OS to run. Thus far we've been with RH and or RHAS. But, the 
>>> next cluster will be big and I'm just not sure what we should run.
>>> Mike Davis
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Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 734 786 8452
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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