[Beowulf] portable clusters
landman at scalableinformatics.com
Sun Nov 27 22:02:04 PST 2005
Have a look at warewulf. I wonder if you could build some vnfs's
into cygwin, and host the PXE server, and a dhcp server. You might be
able to use it to export file systems (set up warewulf to mount CIFS
rather than NFS). If that fails, I have a working bit with dnsmasq for
PXE serving that works really well. Haven't tried it under windows.
Note also that the windows firewall might get in the way.
The CF stuff might be best though. There are some adapters out there
that map IDE drive cables into flash drives. Makes putting down a boot
drive pretty simple. You would need a compact distribution though, or
one that had specific core components on the CF, and mounted the rest.
You can go to 2-4 GB CF/SD these days. I have whittled SuSE down to
about 900 M install . Could do the same for RH and others. If you can
live with older kernels, look at DSL (Damn Small Linux).
Jim Lux wrote:
> Has anyone done a diskless cluster (i.e. boot the nodes off the network)
> where the nodes run Linux but the headnode/server is a WinXP/Win2K box?
> Think in terms of booting off the drive in a laptop.
> The application is one where the raw data that's being processed is
> collected by peculiar hardware for which only windows drivers are
> I suppose one can run some form of Windows server that does the DHCP and
> PXE stuff (after all, it must get done in a "pure windows" environment
> somehow), but is it sufficiently generalized that I can take a Linux
> bootable image to shove out to the nodes. I did find some stuff on
> booting XP(embedded) via PXE, and some stuff on what MS calls Remote
> Installation Service using PXE.
> There's "Services for Unix" but I dont' see a dhcpd in there anywhere.
> SFU does provide a NFS server and client, so at least the nodes could
> conceivably mount the laptop disk.
> Perhaps one "hack" would be to have something like one of those network
> firewall appliances that does DHCP, but able to spit out the right stuff
> to respond to the PXE sequence. Obviously, the run of the mill
> Linksys/D-Link/etc widgets may not do this, but maybe there is one?
> Or, don't rely on PXE, but use a flash RAM (USB stick/Compact Flash/etc)
> image to get things going and then use the laptop for NFS?
> James Lux, P.E.
> Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
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Joseph Landman, Ph.D
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