[Beowulf] Which distro for the cluster?

Ed Hill ed at eh3.com
Sun Jan 7 05:50:21 PST 2007

On Sun, 7 Jan 2007 11:22:30 +0000 amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk (Andrew
M.A. Cater) wrote:
> Fedora Legacy just closed its doors - if you take a couple of months 
> to get your Uebercluster up and running, you're 1/3 of the way
> through your FC cycle :( It doesn't square. 

Speaking of which, I recently built a tiny (<20 nodes) cluster using:

  Sun X2200 (2X Opteron 2210)
  Fedora Core 6 for x86_64

and it was remarkably easy to get MPI working with IB using OpenMPI,
libibverbs, and libmthca (the latter two being available in Fedora
Extras and installed with 'yum install ...').

I can certainly appreciate how long it takes to build medium to large
clusters for larger and more diverse types of users.  But I don't see
why there is a pressing need to upgrade the compute nodes as soon as a
particular Fedora release is no longer current.  If your setup is
working then its working -- its no less valid just because your Fedora
version is one (or perhaps even three) behind the latest.

As others have thoughtfully described, cluster security is typically a
gateway or other "choke point" that mostly divorces it from the actual
compute nodes.  So, once you have things working nicely, you should
have vanishingly few reasons to waste time chasing after the latest 'n
greatest distro version.

It least, that's my view...  :-)


Edward H. Hill III, PhD  |  ed at eh3.com  |  http://eh3.com/
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