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

Greg Kurtzer gmk at runlevelzero.net
Wed Dec 13 10:13:27 PST 2006

On Dec 9, 2006, at 11:27 AM, Eric Shook wrote:

> Not to diverge this conversation, but has anyone had any experience  
> using this pxe boot / nfs model with a rhel variant?  I have been  
> wanting to do a nfs root or ramdisk model for some-time but our  
> software stack requires a rhel base so Scyld and Perceus most  
> likely will not work (although I am still looking into both of them  
> to make sure)

I haven't made any announcements on this list about Perceus yet, so  
just to clarify:

Perceus (http://www.perceus.org) works very well with RHEL and we  
will soon have some VNFS capsules for the commercial distributions  
including high performance hardware and library stack and application  
stack pre-integrated into the capsule (which we will offer, support  
and certify for various solutions via Infiscale (http:// 

note: Perceus capsules contain the kernel, drivers, provisioning  
scripts and utilities to support provisioning the VNFS into a single  
file that is importable into Perceus with a single command. The  
released capsules support stateless provisioning, but there is  
already work in creating capsules that can do statefull, NFS (almost) 
root, and hybrid systems.

We have a user already running Perceus with RHEL capsules in HPC and  
another prototyping it for a web cluster solution.

Also, Warewulf has been known to scale well over 2000 nodes. Perceus  
limits have yet to be reached, but it can natively handle load  
balancing and fail over multiple Perceus masters. Theoretically the  
limits should be well beyond Warewulf's capabilities.

Version 1.0 of Perceus has been released (GPL) and now we are in bug  
fixing and tuning mode. We are in need of testers and documentation  
so if anyone is interested please let me know.

Greg Kurtzer
gmk at runlevelzero.net

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