[GE users] Best cluster management software and OS

Sebastian Stark stark at tuebingen.mpg.de
Sat Nov 19 09:56:11 GMT 2005


Make a list of applications you want to run. See if they have special  
requirements or support conditions. Use the OS that's good for your  
applications (and hardware).

I personally do not care too much about the "update" or "management"  
features of the operating system since our cluster runs completely  
off the same root filesystem. One to rule them all! I ssh to one box,  
compile/install something and voila, it's everywhere instantly.

In the beginning there was some trickery involved when I had to look  
which parts of the /var directory structure need to be node-specific  
(and had to be put into a small ram-disk, like the mail spool) and  
which are not (like the package database).

All nodes boot off a pxe/tftp/dhcp/nfs server, different kernels for  
different hardware.

Add a script that partions your disks automatically when they're  
empty and you have a "self-installing" cluster.

Use a program like tentakel for mass jobs like "reboot all nodes" or  
"mount this directory on all 64-bit nodes". Something like ganglia  
and/or nagios for monitoring.

Now who cares about what linux distribution is running on it.

Am 18.11.2005 um 19:32 schrieb Nick I:

> Hi,
> At www.clusterbuilder.org/FAQ there is a question about what OS and  
> cluster management software are the best for a cluster system.   
> Does anyone have any advice and opinions on the best OS and cluster  
> management software for this type of setup? I am trying to build a  
> knowledgebase of different opinions on software.
> Here is the question:
>
> "I'm bulding a project for a cluster that consists on 64 machines  
> running each 2x Dual Core AMD Opteron with 2GB of memory per core  
> (8GB per machine). We already have everything else accounted for  
> except for the software. We have serious doubts on what would be  
> best for the OS and the cluster management software. The OS has to  
> be open source. Please give me some advice on what you think you be  
> the best performance solution for it. It doesn''t matter if it's  
> not free. "
>
> Thanks,
> Nick


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