[Beowulf] Re: Some beginner's questions on cluster setup

Samuel Pichardo sammeuly at yahoo.ca
Thu Jul 9 14:29:28 PDT 2009

As pointed by others, if MPI traffic is not a concern (only a "massive" reading at beginning + writing at end), single NIC + NFS should handle it, in our case we have a  diskless cluster with 15 slaves+master and rarely we deal with bottlenecks caused by NFS loads and we are not even using RAID.

We are using CentOS 5.2 with default values for NFS server, the master is  a single Xeon 5410 with 4GB (Supermicro Twin 1U), each slave nodes has 2 x xeon 5410.

For the provisioning and node management, I've been using Perceus 1.5. Under CentOS the installation is quite straightforward and simple, just be sure of activating the Perceus modules for name of hosts, group/users,  ip address and so on. I'm using NFS for provisioning rather than XGET which for some versions of Perceus is  the default provisioning mechanism (XGET was much more slower and sometimes hanged, but I know that Infiniscale has been working hard on this for the latest version, so you can give a try). There is also Caos Linux distribution with the "full package" for clusters ready to go. Perceus and some other cluster-related stuff are included by default in Caos.

About the flash usb, same here, we tried it and it was quite slow.

Good luck


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