[Beowulf] RAID for home beowulf

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Sat Oct 3 15:55:34 PDT 2009

> I've seen Centos mentioned a lot in connection to HPC, am I making a
> mistake with Ubuntu??

distros differ mainly in their desktop decoration.  for actually 
getting cluster-type work done, the distro is as close to irrelevant
as imaginable.  a matter of taste, really.  it's not as if the distros
provide the critical components - they merely repackage the kernel,
libraries, middleware, utilities.  wiring yourself to a distro does
affect when you can or have to upgrade your system, though.

consider, for instance, that there's no reason for a compute node to 
run whatever distro you choose for your login node.  yes, you'd like 
to keep some synchronization in libc and middleware libraries.  but 
you could configure a compute node with only the basics: kernel, shell,
minimal /sbin utilities, single rc script, sshd (in addition to the 
probably few libraries needed by jobs - compiler runtimes, probably MPI,
probably acml/mkl)

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