Scyld and pvfs ...

Walter B. Ligon III walt at
Mon Nov 13 07:43:00 PST 2000


You may be somewhat confused as to just what Scyld Beowulf does.  Running
Scyld Beowulf with a complete install on each node is an oxymoron - the
whole idea is NOT to have a complete install on each node.

That said, why do you feel you NEED a complete install on each node?  Scyld
does NOT use NFS to access the root file system as you mentioned - the entire
kernel and supporting files ARE placed on the LOCAL disk at boot time.  The
key is that you don't NEED any more than that when you are running Scyld

I know it sounds rather incredible (it took me a while to get used to the idea
and I've been aware of it for a very long time) but I would encourage you to
TRY it and see how it works before you decide it won't work for you.

As Phil pointed out, PVFS works fine with it.  Finally, if a traditional 
beowulf installation is a must for you - you CAN still run bproc on a 
traditional beowulf system and get a similar operating environment, though
you lose all of the improved cluster management benefits.

In summary, you will get the MOST from your new hard drives by using the
Scyld beowulf setup AS IS - and it is MUCH better than putting a full install
on each node.  If you can't believe it, TRY IT!  You can try it out w/o much
trouble and if it doesn't work for you, THEN think about changing it.


> Hi all,
>  I'm considering upgrading our cluster from the current patched rh 6.1 to
> Scyld, but I have a couple of questions...
	[ ... ]
>  The question is : is possible to use Scyld to have a complete os install
> on every node (and not just a small boot partition) and to make it coexist
> w/ PVFS ?
>  The problem is that we don't have a lot of Net bandwidth and using NFS
> mounted root could add some (unneeded) traffic to the local
> network. Having Myrinet could lesser the overhead due to NFS mounted root,
> but I think it's a little too expensive for our needs.
>  Thank you all in advance,
> Franz
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> Franz Marini
> Sys Admin and Software Analyst,
> Dept. of Physics, University of Milan, Italy.
> "There's nothing wrong in M$oft that Linux can't cure..."
> email : marini at
> phone : 0039 2 2392221
> --------------------------------------------------------- 
> _______________________________________________
> Beowulf mailing list
> Beowulf at

Dr. Walter B. Ligon III
Associate Professor
ECE Department
Clemson University

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