[Beowulf] RAID for home beowulf

Tomislav Maric tomislav.maric at gmx.com
Sun Oct 4 16:07:16 PDT 2009

Mark Hahn wrote:
>>>> 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)
>> Thanks, that's exactly what I thought: the software components of a
>> beowulf mentioned in rgb's book and on the net, are simply utilities
>> that are used upon any linux distribution.
> that's not actually what I meant.  yes, of course, a beowulf can be 
> based on any distro you like.  but my point was actually that there's 
> no reason to have any distro on a compute node.  what needs to be on 
> a compute node is quite minimal - so much so that it could be managed
> outside of any distro.  it's not as if the distros do any hard work - 
> they just recompile code managed by other people.  and you can get that 
> code yourself.  a compute node really only needs a dozen or so packages
> on it to support running your job.

OK thanks, I understand. Where can I learn to do that? There are many
diskless nodes how-tos and, as in RAID they seem to be a bit out of
date, and confusing for someone with limited experience, like me. I
would be really grateful for a point in the right direction.

Best regards,

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