[Beowulf] Booting fom a SAN disk using FC-over-Iinfiniband

Paulo Afonso Lopes pal at di.fct.unl.pt
Wed Nov 2 08:27:10 PST 2005

> Quoting Chris Samuel <csamuel at vpac.org>:
>> > b) And what if the host (an IBM JS20 blade) we want to boot is not
>> > directly FC-attached to the SAN, but is Infiniband attached to a IB
>> > gateway (a TopSpin 90 with the FC gateway module) and the IB switch is
>> > connected to an FC switch (8 port Brocade)? Is it still possible to
>> > "remote" boot it?
> Did you purchase the firmware update to support boot-over-IB?  As of 6
> months ago, Topspin charged for this feature.
> Craig

We are in the process of gathering information (we've asked IBM and
Cisco/Topspin, no answer yet) to validate this configuration, and then
buying the Topspin switch and gateway. Was Topspin bought by Cisco 6
months ago? That could explain the extra charge... :-)

The "configuration under scrutiny" is (I hope the mail clients do not
compress the blanks and distort the figure):

         +-------+     +------+
 H1------|Brocade|-----| IBM  |-LUNx
...      |  FC   |     | Disk |
 Hn------|switch |-----|Array |
         +-------+     +------+
         |        |Topspin FC-IB gateway module
 Hx------|        |Topspin 90
...      |        | IB switch
 Hz------|        |
IB attached

What we want to be sure is that an IB attached host, say Hx, can boot from
an FC LUN, say LUNx; and then, after booting, we can use the IB
infrastructure to support both "IB traffic" (e.g., MPI applications
running in the Hx...Hz cluster) and "FC traffic" (Hx...Hz can access the
disk array).



Paulo Afonso Lopes                        | Tel: +351- 21 294 8536
Departamento de Informática               | 294 8300 ext.10763
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia        | Fax: +351- 21 294 8541
Universidade Nova de Lisboa               | e-mail: pal at di.fct.unl.pt
2829-516 Caparica, PORTUGAL

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