[Beowulf] SATA II - PXE+NFS - diskless compute nodes

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Sat Dec 9 05:58:55 PST 2006

Guy Coates wrote:

> At what  node count does the nfs-root model start to break down?  Does anyone
> have any rough numbers with the number of clients you can support with a generic
> linux NFS server vs a dedicated NAS filer?

If you use warewulf or the new perceus variant, it creates a ram disk
which is populated upon boot.  Thats one of the larger transients.  Then
you nfs mount applications, and home directories.  I haven't looked at
Scyld for a while, but I seem to remember them doing something like this.

If you have this operational in this manner, apart from home/scratch
directory file service, you should be able to handle a few hundred nodes
without too much pain, though you will want to beef up the design a bit.
 Scyld requires a meatier head node as I remember due to its launch model.

Even better if you can load balance your NFS servers and set them up to
mirror each other, or use a hardware unit like Panasas, and so on.


> Cheers,
> Guy

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
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