[Beowulf] First cluster in 20 years - questions about today

Bill Abbott babbott at rutgers.edu
Sun Feb 2 12:01:28 PST 2020


I'd start with OpenHPC on linux.  They provide well-tested recipes with 
multiple software options and make the whole thing pretty easy.

I'd use slurm for the scheduler (a single hetergeneous cluster) and the 
various other bundled OpenHPC components to manage nodes and so forth.

We do this for both small and medium clusters and it works well.  We 
chose centos 7/warewulf/slurm as our track.



On 2/1/20 10:21 PM, Mark Kosmowski wrote:
> I've been out of computation for about 20 years since my master degree.  
> I'm getting into the game again as a private individual.  When I was 
> active Opteron was just launched - I was an early adopter of amd64 
> because I needed the RAM (maybe more accurately I needed to thoroughly 
> thrash my swap drives).  I never needed any cluster management software 
> with my 3 node, dual socket, single core little baby Beowulf.  (My 
> planned domain is computational chemistry and I'm hoping to get to a 
> point where I can do ab initio catalyst surface reaction modeling of 
> small molecules (not biomolecules).)
> I'm planning to add a few nodes and it will end up being fairly 
> heterogenous.  My initial plan is to add two or three multi-socket, 
> multi-core nodes as well as a 48 port gigabit switch.  How should I 
> assess whether to have one big heterogenous cluster vs. two smaller 
> quasi-homogenous clusters?
> Will it be worthwhile to learn a cluster management software?  If so, 
> suggestions?
> Should I consider Solaris or illumos?  I do plan on using ZFS, 
> especially for the data node, but I want as much redundancy as I can 
> get, since I'm going to be using used hardware.  Will the fancy Solaris 
> cluster tools be useful?
> Also, once I get running, while I'm getting current with theory and 
> software may I inquire here about taking on a small, low priority 
> academic project to make sure the cluster side is working good?
> Thank you all for still being here!
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