[Beowulf] using two separate networks for different data streams

Douglas Eadline deadline at clustermonkey.net
Thu Jan 26 13:35:22 PST 2006

Obviously two network interfaces are needed per node for this
to work. Most motherboards now come with two Ethernet interfaces so this
has become a more standard way of doing things.

The way it is done is as follows. You setup two networks.
For example, your /etc/hosts file looks something like:

#compute network 192.168.0    node1-compute    node2-compute
...    master-compute

#admin network 192.168.1    node1-admin    node2-admin
...    master-admin

Where node1-compute and node1-admin are the same physical node, etc.

When you mount NFS in the /etc/fstab you do it over the *-admin network.
When you run an MPI job your node list is made of *-compute
node names.

It is often easier to use a cluster distribution to do this. Doing it by hand
can be tedious and error prone)

If you take a look at:


you can see how we did it using warewulf (quite easy).


> Hi
>   I've looked around, in the list and google and didn't find anything
> elucidating enough on this so mabe someone could englight me or point me
> where to look.
>   I've seen architectures with two network switchs, one is used for I/O
> (writing, reading, so on) and another for message passing (MPI). how is
> this achieved? I get the idea, from one place, where the applications
> running must be aware of this but I was thinking that for this to work it
> must be transparent to the application. How can this be achieved?
>   Any thought will be appreciated.
>   best regards,
>   Ricardo Reis
>   "Non Serviam"
>   n.p.: http://radio.ist.utl.pt
>   n.r.: http://atumtenorio.blogspot.com
>                      <- Send with Pine Linux/Unix/Win/Mac OS->
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