diskless nodes? (was Re: Xbox clusters?)

Velocet math at velocet.ca
Fri Dec 7 11:49:27 PST 2001

On Fri, Dec 07, 2001 at 09:47:10AM -0500, Troy Baer's all...

> Well, there's nothing keeping you from keeping the root filesystem on NFS
> and using local disk for swap, /tmp, and /var.  We do that on our Pentium
> III and Itanium clusters, and it seems to work pretty well.  The biggest
> problem is user education ("No, 'cp file /tmp' does not copy it out to all
> the nodes in your job, use pbsdcp instead").

With large scratch disk bandwidth required I'd definitely go this way.
But even with $100-$150 a node on $300 diskless nodes, thats 35-50% the
cost of a node. If the parameters of the requirements for the
cluster's disk usage dont dictate more than a few Mbps of scratch
bandwidth being required, then you can get a much higher price
performance out of diskless machines. Of course this reduces
flexibility of the cluster, but if you can ensure its only used for
certain types of jobs that fit into a range of parameters, then you
can get a fair increase in performance for the money.

> 	--Troy
> -- 
> Troy Baer                       email:  troy at osc.edu
> Science & Technology Support    phone:  614-292-9701
> Ohio Supercomputer Center       web:  http://oscinfo.osc.edu
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