[Beowulf] First cluster in 20 years - questions about today
Jonathan Douglas Engwall
engwalljonathanthereal at gmail.com
Mon Feb 3 16:14:00 PST 2020
At least get a 4U, 4 CPU rack machine and don't even think of any GPU older than 2016. Better yet, look toward a DELL T440, they sell off when the warranty starts to go, practically new, at prices that will shock you; if you have paid for a laptop or phone recently.
Industrial cast-offs are the way to go. You can try whatever you like that way, because you are running solid equipment.
You can't protect yourself when a developer dumps support for this or that when everything you use is older, edge-case, or your own handiwork, professional it may be.
On February 1, 2020, at 9:21 PM, Mark Kosmowski <mark.kosmowski at gmail.com> 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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