[Beowulf] PXE boot with X7DWT-INF IB onboard card

Andrew Holway andrew.holway at gmail.com
Mon Nov 12 06:32:09 PST 2012


OR

put in a USB thumb drive in each node. It would be somewhat simpler to set
up :)


2012/11/12 Andrew Holway <andrew.holway at gmail.com>

>
>
>
> 2012/11/12 Vincent Diepeveen <diep at xs4all.nl>
>
>> Problem is not the infiniband NIC's.
>
>
> Yes it is. You have to flash the device firmware in order for the BIOS
> to recognize it as a bootable device.
>
> Yes your a bit screwed for booting over IB but booting over 1GE is
> perfectly acceptable. 1GE bit rate is not 1000 miles away for a single disk
> drive performance anyway. (100MB/s or so). A lot of the clusters I have put
> together were 1GE connected for boot and management.
>
> Typically not very much is written to the local disk once the node has
> booted anyway. A few logs here and there. As you have an IB connection you
> dont have to worry about it.
>
> You might want to consider iSCSI. This is supported by the open gPXE
> project. You can set up a LUN per server.
>
> Ta
>
> Andrew
>
>
>
>> You need a motherboard with a
>> bios fixed to boot infiniband over PXE, that's all.
>> So you need to contact Supermicro to fix the bios if it doesn't boot
>> them, if they would be willing to do that.
>>
>> On Nov 12, 2012, at 1:56 PM, Duke Nguyen wrote:
>>
>> > On 11/12/12 7:05 PM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>> >> You can boot over PXE using normal network cables and boot over
>> >> the gigabit ethernet using a cheap ethernet
>> >> router.
>> >
>> > Thanks Vincent. Yes we gonna try that with a gigabyte hub. Just
>> > wonder anyone has other experience, for example PXE Boot on this
>> > link http://ulm.ccc.de/hg/pxeboot/raw-annotate/8c54643186a9/src/
>> > drivers/net/mlx_ipoib/doc/README.boot_over_ib. This PXEBoot lists
>> > our cards as supported.
>> >
>> > D.
>> >
>> >>
>> >> On Nov 12, 2012, at 12:33 PM, Duke Nguyen wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> Hi folks,
>> >>>
>> >>> We are still on the way of building our first small-cluster.
>> >>> Right now
>> >>> we have 16 diskless nodes 8GB RAM on X7DWT-INF and a master also on
>> >>> X7DWT-INF with 120GB disk and 16GB RAM. These boards (X7DWT-INF) has
>> >>> built-in Infiniband Card (Infiniband MT25204 20Gbps Controller),
>> >>> and I
>> >>> hoped that we can create a boot server on the master node for the 16
>> >>> clients using IB connection.
>> >>>
>> >>> Unfortunately after reading, I found out that our built-card is
>> >>> too old
>> >>> for Mellanox FlexBoot:
>> >>>
>> >>> $ lspci -v | grep Mellanox
>> >>> 08:00.0 InfiniBand: Mellanox Technologies MT25204 [InfiniHost III Lx
>> >>> HCA] (rev 20)
>> >>>      Subsystem: Mellanox Technologies MT25204 [InfiniHost III Lx
>> >>> HCA]
>> >>>
>> >>> whereas FlexBoot requires at least Connect2X-3X to work with.
>> >>>
>> >>> My questions are:
>> >>>
>> >>>   * any body using the same (or similar main boards) and was able to
>> >>> boot using PXE?
>> >>>   * if PXE server with Infiniband is impossible, then it is OK
>> >>> with a
>> >>> gigabyte connection? Or should we go for 16 disks for these 16
>> >>> clients
>> >>> and dont care much on boot over IB or IP? (more money, of course)
>> >>>
>> >>> Thanks,
>> >>>
>> >>> D.
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>> >>
>> >
>>
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>
>
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