[Beowulf] anyone using SALT on your clusters?

Jonathan Barber jonathan.barber at gmail.com
Fri Jun 28 01:16:13 PDT 2013

On 27 June 2013 23:39, Mark Hahn <hahn at mcmaster.ca> wrote:

> consider this a bit of devils advocacy and/or display of hickishness:
> why the big deal about cf-engine/salt/puppet/chef/etc?
> to me, a sensible cluster is nfs-root based, so there is
> hardly ever any mass-configuration to do.  when there is,
> it's usually something like "pdsh -a check_something.sh".

But how do you describe and track the configuration of the nfs-root? For me
the point about the configuration management tools is not that they allow
you to configure thousands of nodes through the network, it's that they
give you a language to describe how to configure a system and it's
dependencies at a higher level than the series of commands required to
bring the system to the same point.

> I can easily imagine large web-based sites that might have
> lots of machines in different roles, for which these auto-devops
> systems would make a lot of sense.  but even a large HPC cluster
> might consist of one admin node, and identical N-1 compute nodes,
> and one login node (compute node with a couple tweaks.)
> an organization might well have multiple such clusters,
> though that begs the question of why they are separate...

If you think about services rather than systems, and include all of the
supporting systems required for a cluster to operate, the number of
different "nodes" increases. I believe current practice in large scale
webshops is to dedicate machines to single services, so for them system ==

In my experience, if you have multiple clusters then the likelihood that
they have homogeneous hardware is zero. Also, they are probably being used
by different groups with different requirements.


> regards, mark hahn.
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Jonathan Barber <jonathan.barber at gmail.com>
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