[Beowulf] Entry Level HPC?

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Thu May 7 14:27:02 PDT 2009

> First question: Any point in trying to use the Everex gPC
> with the Via C-7 cpu (my current desktop) as the master node?

sure, why not?  your taste determines the layout of services.
a cluster typically needs several admin services:
 	- dhcp/tftp (pxe) for booting, if you do it that way.
 	- server for shared filesystem(s) (home or nfs root)
 	- scheduler.
 	- monitoring.
 	- user access (login, compile, submit, etc).

it's nice to at least keep users off any admin nodes for both 
contention and security reasons, but not strictly necessary. 
there's no reason all those couldn't be on one server, if you wanted,
especially for a small cluster with relatively sane users. 
I usually bundle pxe and nfs root serving onto the same admin node, 
since they're an obviously a logical single point of failure.  that's
the node I'd most likley call "master".  non-system filesystems should be
separate, though mainly because a machine optimized for file service is not
necessarily optimized for, say, running the scheduler, and it's valuable to
isolate such services from resource contention.

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