[Beowulf] Cluster install and admin approach (newbie question)

Jonathan Aquilina eagles051387 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 07:17:23 PDT 2009

would creating a cron job for each of the nodes to where only one is workign
on the files on the head node?

On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 2:11 AM, <madskaddie at gmail.com> wrote:

> Greetings,
> I relatively new to cluster environments and I was given a small
> (7nodes+1head) cluster to admin. So far I only had to maintain what
> was already installed so few problems to solve (and to think on). But
> new (diferent: amd opteron vs intel xeon) machines came and I have to
> expand the cluster (think and solve problems). The (old) cluster is
> semi-diskless (all machines do have disks but they boot from a single
> image on a central server) with nfs for filesystem sharing. The main
> problems I had were:
>  * if the /var filesystem is shared, race conditions happen (all nodes
> want to write on the same files). I had this problem and moved to a
> local /var filesystem.
>  * if /var is local (which it may because the disks do exist), the
> whole point of central point for easy admin vanishes, because I would
> had to create all the /var structure that packages need to work, on
> each node (would be easier to do: "for $node; ssh $install_cmd; done",
> than guessing which dirs I need to create or files to copy).
>  * if /var is tmpfs all forensics are certainly gone after failure
> (Murphy told me this one ;).
> Everything I read on the subject do underline the advantages of
> diskless approaches but miss to alert to this problem and/or to solve
> it. On the other side, the distributed approach tools (where every
> node is autonomous) seem to be halted (as systemimager - which is used
> in the Oscar project) or discontinued, or truly overblown for my
> reference scale (IBM's xCat); so it really seems that I'm missing
> something.
> The question is what you do about this ?
> Gil Brandao
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Jonathan Aquilina
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