[Beowulf] cluster deployment and config management

Stu Midgley sdm900 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 4 22:24:27 PDT 2017

Morning everyone

I am in the process of redeveloping our cluster deployment and config
management environment and wondered what others are doing?

First, everything we currently have is basically home-grown.

Our cluster deployment is a system that I've developed over the years and
is pretty simple - if you know BASH and how pxe booting works.  It has
everything from setting the correct parameters in the bios, zfs ram disks
for the OS, lustre for state files (usually in /var) - all in the initrd.

We use it to boot cluster nodes, lustre servers, misc servers and desktops.

We basically treat everything like a cluster.

However... we do have a proliferation of images... and all need to be kept
up-to-date and managed.  Most of the changes from one image to the next are
config files.

We don't have a good config management (which might, hopefully, reduce the
number of images we need).  We tried puppet, but it seems everyone hates
it.  Its too complicated?  Not the right tool?

I was thinking of using git for config files, dumping a list of rpm's,
dumping the active services from systemd and somehow munging all that
together in the initrd.  ie. git checkout the server to get config files
and systemctl enable/start the appropriate services etc.

It started to get complicated.

Any feedback/experiences appreciated.  What works well?  What doesn't?


Dr Stuart Midgley
sdm900 at gmail.com
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