[Beowulf] Re: Beowulf Digest, Vol 19, Issue 33

Maurice Hilarius maurice at harddata.com
Mon Sep 26 05:11:08 PDT 2005

Bruce Allen wrote:

>Spending the $$$ to buy some extra nodes won't work in our case.  We don't 
>just use the cluster for computing, we also use it for data storage. 
>Each of the 400+ nodes will have four 250GB disks and a hardware RAID 
>controller (3ware 9500 or Areca 1110).
AMCC (3Ware) have started shipping their new 9550X series.
Big changes are included:
True PCI-X, separate channel chips for each drive, new RAID CPU.
You may also want to look at the offerings from  LSI.
300X supports S-ATA2, and their SAS RAID cars are just about ready to
ship to the general public.
Nice thing with that, of course, is downward compatibiloity with S-ATA1
and S-ATA2  as well.

>  If a node is acting odd, we'd like 
>to be able to diagnose/fix/reboot/restore it quickly if possible.  To 
>replicate the data from a distant tape-backed repository will take many 
>hours. So having some 'extra' machines doesn't help us so much, since we 
>wouldn't know what data to keep on them, and moving the data onto them 
>when needed would normally take much longer than bringing back to life the 
>node that's gone down.
> 	Bruce
IPMI cards should do the trick.
Most decent motherboard makers offer that now for around $50 - $100 per

>On Sat, 24 Sep 2005, Douglas Eadline wrote:
>>>We're getting ready to put together our next large Linux compute cluster.
>>>This time around, we'd like to be able to interact with the machines
>>>remotely.  By this I mean that if a machine is locked up, we'd like to be
>>>able to see what's on the console, power cycle it, mess with BIOS
>>>settings, and so on, WITHOUT having to drive to work, go into the cluster
>>>room, etc.
Also, if it is just fan and temperature monitoring that is needed,
add-on boards to do that run at $80 per node, and can be easily

Lastly, as most server/cluster boards have serial console option, it is
no pretty easy to add serial to ethernet converters to provide remote
I/O without the expense involved in some of the fancier terminal server
At around $30 - $65 per port devices like this do the job quite well:

With our best regards,

Maurice W. Hilarius
Hard Data Ltd
Edmonton, AB, Canada       http://www.harddata.com/

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