[Beowulf] security for small, personal clusters

Ashley Pittman apittman at concurrent-thinking.com
Tue Jun 24 03:33:17 PDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-06-20 at 12:30 -0400, Mark Kosmowski wrote:
> What kind of security is recommended for the owner of a small personal
> cluster?

Most likely perimeter security.  I very much doubt there is information
on the compute nodes which isn't on the head node and the compute nodes
won't have any internet connection/bandwidth the frontend doesn't also
have so they won't work as jumping-off points.  If the front-end is
compromised there is little or nothing to be gained from compromising
the compute nodes so it's not worth the hassle or inconvenience to
protect them.  The one exception to this is passwords, don't use any
service on the system which use plain-text passwords as these can be
sniffed and people often use the same password for many accounts.

> Where should the owner of a small, personal cluster go to
> learn about security?  Doing searches tends to give a few "head in the
> sand" sites but predominantly seem to be oriented for the security
> professional.

It's no different than securing a standard Desktop machine or your
laptop.  Disable as many services on the external interface as you can.

Ashley Pittman.

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