[Beowulf] more automatic building

Tim Cutts tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Wed Sep 28 07:46:41 PDT 2016

Any number of approaches will work.  When I used to do this years ago (I've long since passed on the technical side) I'd PXE boot, partition the hard disk and set up a provisioning network and base OS install using the Debian FAI (Fully Automated Install) system, and then use cfengine to configure the machine once it had come in that minimal state.  This approach was used across the board for all of our Linux boxes, from Linux desktops to database servers to HPC compute nodes.

These days the team uses tools like cobbler and ansible to achieve the same thing.  There are lots of ways to do it, but the principle is the same.


Head of Scientific Computing
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

On 28/09/2016, 15:34, "Beowulf on behalf of Mikhail Kuzminsky" <beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org<mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org> on behalf of mikky_m at mail.ru<mailto:mikky_m at mail.ru>> wrote:

I worked always w/very small HPC clusters and built them manually (each server).
But what is reasonable to do for clusters  containing some tens or hundred of nodes ?
Of course w/modern Xeon (or Xeon Phi KNL) and IB EDR, during the next year for example.
There are some automatic systems like OSCAR or even ROCKS.

But it looks that ROCKS don't support modern interconnects, and there may be problems
w/OSCAR versions for support of systemd-based distributives like CentOS 7. For next year -
is it reasonable to wait new OSCAR version or something else ?

Mikhail Kuzminsky,
Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry RAS,

 The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is operated by Genome Research 
 Limited, a charity registered in England with number 1021457 and a 
 company registered in England with number 2742969, whose registered 
 office is 215 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.
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