[Beowulf] RAID for home beowulf

Nifty Tom Mitchell niftyompi at niftyegg.com
Sun Oct 4 17:21:16 PDT 2009

On Sun, Oct 04, 2009 at 01:08:27PM +0200, Tomislav Maric wrote:
> 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.
> > 

An interesting perspective is to have a cluster built
on the same distro as your desktop because all the 
work (compile/edit-->a.out) can just run on your cluster.
If you have a personal bias to having Ubuntu  under your
fingers and mouse then a cluster based on the same version
of Ubuntu can make sense.   This can apply to the 32/64 bit
choice too.

For this reason alone it can make a lot of sense for a 
small personal cluster to match the desktop.

Other distros like RHEL/CentOS/ScientificLinux do have 
some advantages in things that matter to big groups 
like kickstart support package management and server specific
tools and support for the latest higher end hardware.
For large clusters the personal station biases are all
over the map for the user community so the compass points 
to server distros.

Another perspective is compiler support.   If you have a superior
compiler for your applications then the cluster distro should be
"compatible" with the compiler.  Some compilers can improve
run time by 40% and quickly tip the balance.  Your benchmarks will tell....

I like Ubuntu because it facilitates my WiFi and graphics support better than
some others.  It is also quite current in image tools so it is the distro
I connect my camera to more often than my other systems.  I can also
ssh into my CentOS boxen to other types of work that do not depend on eye candy.

	T o m  M i t c h e l l 
	Found me a new hat, now what?

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