[Beowulf] integrating node disks into a cluster filesystem?

Dmitry Zaletnev dzaletnev at yandex.ru
Fri Sep 25 17:32:28 PDT 2009

I use to make experiments with my toy cluster of PS3. and I'm interested in your ideas.
PS3 has two network interfaces - GLAN NIC and Wi-fi. Available for running with my firmware 2.70 distros are:
Yellow Dog Linux 6.1 NEW, PSUBUNTU (Ubuntu 9.04), Fedora 11.
There're Allied Telesyn AT-GS900/8E switch and D-Link DIR-320 Wi-fi router with USB.
Except this systems there're Core2Duo E8400/ 8GB RAM/ 1.5 TB HDD and Celeron 1.8/ 1 GB RAM/ 80 GB HDD.
While I'm waiting when my partner-programmer realize ILP64-scheme in his CFD-package, PS3 stay without 
any work and they are ready for any experiments with their HDD's of 80 GB.
I would prefer not to load their GLAN NICs with something except MPI, but may be it's possible to use wi-fi?
There're two PS3's, but it's suffice for an experiment.

Dmitry Zaletnev

> > users to cache data-in-progress to scratch space on the nodes. But there's a 
> > definite draw to a single global scratch space that scales automatically with 
> > the cluster itself.
> using node-local storage is fine, but really an orthogonal issue.
> if people are willing to do it, it's great and scales nicely.
> it doesn't really address the question of how to make use of 
> 3-8 TB per node. we suggest that people use node-local /tmp, 
> and like that name because it emphasizes the nature of the space.
> currently we don't sweat the cleanup of /tmp (in fact we merely 
> have the distro-default 10-day tmpwatch).
> > > - obviously want to minimize the interference of remote IO to a node's 
> > > jobs.
> > > for serial jobs, this is almost moot. for loosely-coupled parallel jobs
> > > (whether threaded or cross-node), this is probably non-critical. even for
> > > tight-coupled jobs, perhaps it would be enough to reserve a core for
> > > admin/filesystem overhead.
> > I'd also strongly consider a separate network for filesystem I/O.
> why? I'd like to see some solid numbers on how often jobs are really
> bottlenecked on the interconnect (assuming something reasonable like DDR IB).
> I can certainly imagine it could be so, but how often does it happen?
> is it only for specific kinds of designs (all-to-all users?)
> > > - distributed filesystem (ceph? gluster? please post any experience!) I
> > > know it's possible to run oss+ost services on a lustre client, but not
> > > recommended because of the deadlock issue.
> > I played with PVFS1 a bit back in the day. My impression at the time was
> yeah, I played with it too, but forgot to mention it because it is afaik
> still dependent on all nodes being up. admittedly, most of the alternatives
> also assume all servers are up...
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