[Beowulf] PXE boot with X7DWT-INF IB onboard card

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Mon Nov 12 05:31:16 PST 2012

Maybe there is a simpler thing going on here.

Had you looked at supermicro website whether your motherboard can  
boot the infiniband?
If so you might want to check the bios version of the motherboards  
and flash them to a newer
version that does support booting infiniband over PXE.

Probably needs DOS boot floppy then run the flash program. Be warned  
- your motherboard no longer functions if
this procedure goes wrong or if you use a bios from a different  
release motherboard (even if it is similar), only reprogramming
bios in a hardware bios reprogrammer works if it goes wrong (if i say  
this correctly in English).

On Nov 12, 2012, at 1:56 PM, Duke Nguyen wrote:

> On 11/12/12 7:05 PM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>> You can boot over PXE using normal network cables and boot over  
>> the gigabit ethernet using a cheap ethernet
>> router.
> Thanks Vincent. Yes we gonna try that with a gigabyte hub. Just  
> wonder anyone has other experience, for example PXE Boot on this  
> link http://ulm.ccc.de/hg/pxeboot/raw-annotate/8c54643186a9/src/ 
> drivers/net/mlx_ipoib/doc/README.boot_over_ib. This PXEBoot lists  
> our cards as supported.
> D.
>> On Nov 12, 2012, at 12:33 PM, Duke Nguyen wrote:
>>> Hi folks,
>>> We are still on the way of building our first small-cluster.  
>>> Right now
>>> we have 16 diskless nodes 8GB RAM on X7DWT-INF and a master also on
>>> X7DWT-INF with 120GB disk and 16GB RAM. These boards (X7DWT-INF) has
>>> built-in Infiniband Card (Infiniband MT25204 20Gbps Controller),  
>>> and I
>>> hoped that we can create a boot server on the master node for the 16
>>> clients using IB connection.
>>> Unfortunately after reading, I found out that our built-card is  
>>> too old
>>> for Mellanox FlexBoot:
>>> $ lspci -v | grep Mellanox
>>> 08:00.0 InfiniBand: Mellanox Technologies MT25204 [InfiniHost III Lx
>>> HCA] (rev 20)
>>>      Subsystem: Mellanox Technologies MT25204 [InfiniHost III Lx  
>>> HCA]
>>> whereas FlexBoot requires at least Connect2X-3X to work with.
>>> My questions are:
>>>   * any body using the same (or similar main boards) and was able to
>>> boot using PXE?
>>>   * if PXE server with Infiniband is impossible, then it is OK  
>>> with a
>>> gigabyte connection? Or should we go for 16 disks for these 16  
>>> clients
>>> and dont care much on boot over IB or IP? (more money, of course)
>>> Thanks,
>>> D.
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