[Beowulf] recommendations for a good ethernet switch for connecting ~300 compute nodes

Rahul Nabar rpnabar at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 04:14:10 PDT 2009

On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 11:15 PM, Joe
Landman<landman at scalableinformatics.com> wrote:
> Rahul Nabar wrote:

> For a cluster of this size, divide and conquer.  Head node to handle cluster
> admin.  Create login nodes for users to access to handle builds, job
> submission, etc.

> Hmmm... We don't recommend burdening the head node with storage apart for
> very small clusters, where it is a bit more cost effective.

Thanks Joe! My total number of users is relatively small. ~50 with
rarely more than 20 concurrent logged in users. Of course, each user
might have multiple shell sessions.

So the experts would recommend three separate central nodes?

Management node (dhcp / schedulers etc.)
Storage node

Or more?

> Depending upon how your nodes do IO for your jobs, this will dictate how you
> need your IO designed.  If all nodes will do IO, then you need something
> that can handle *huge* transients from time to time.  If one node does IO,
> you need just a good fast connection.  Is GbE enough?  How much IO are we
> talking about?

I did my economics and on the compute nodes I am stuck to GbE nothing
more. If this becomes a totally unworkable proposition I'll be forced
to split into smaller clusters. 10GbE, Myrinet, Infiniband just do not
make economic sense for us. On the central nodes, though, I can afford
to have better interconnects. Should I? Of what type?


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