[Beowulf] more automatic building

Craig Andrew cbandrew at wi.mit.edu
Wed Sep 28 08:01:59 PDT 2016

I agree with Tim. 

We are finishing up an Ansible install and it has worked well for us. 

Initially, we used it internally to help standardize our cluster builds, but is has many more uses. We recently used it to provision a VM that we saved off and uploaded to Amazon for building an AMI. You can also use it to change attributes on your running systems. I have used at Cobler in the past and it works well, too. I just find Ansible to be a little easier. 

Good luck, 

Craig Andrew 
Manager of Systems Administration 
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research 

From: "Tim Cutts" <tjrc at sanger.ac.uk> 
To: "Mikhail Kuzminsky" <mikky_m at mail.ru>, beowulf at beowulf.org 
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:46:41 AM 
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] more automatic building 

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 on behalf of 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, 

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