HD cloning

James Cownie jcownie at etnus.com
Tue Dec 5 08:51:53 PST 2000

> In particular, I notice that the recent Scyld distribution
> assumes that files (libraries if I remember rightly) will be
> installed and available on the local computer.
> Why do people want to install locally?  (Scyld people in particular
> are encouraged to reply.)

I think you have mis-understood the way the Scyld system works.  I
believe that the "local" libraries are downloaded each time the slave
node boots and placed in a scratchy local area (which may even be a
RAM file system).

As I understand it the whole idea of the Scyld distribution is that
you _only_ need to install it on a master, the slaves can then be
subverted simply by rebooting them from a CD. (Ideal for implementing
the "Todd is in the building : reboot in windows" emergency reset
script ;-). 

> 	A beowulf is a high performance computing
> 	cluster, not a data or web server cluster.
> This kind of supercomputer elitism, this fascination with fine-
> grained parallelism and linear speed-up has held back the progress
> of single system image multicomputing for long enough.  I disagree
> with your claim, so much so that I wouldn't even fight for your
> right to make it (well, not with much conviction).

I don't think this is elitism. It's simply trying to be clear about
the definition of a Beowulf. It's not saying that you _can't_ create
clusters to do data serving or web serving, but that they shouldn't be
called a Beowulf. 

The point is that if we call every cluster a Beowulf we lose all power
to talk clearly about the different issues.

If you haven't already, read "In Search of Clusters" to get an idea
about the range of issues (and general confusion !) surrounding what
people mean by a cluster.

Having a way to describe a particular subset of clusters built with
specific aims (which is all that saying a cluster is a Beowulf is
doing) is a _good_ thing IMO.

If you want to come up with a name for a high-reliability web server
cluster to crystallise the discussion there, feel free to do it. The
point is that it won't be a Beowulf because it has different

My 2p.

-- Jim 

James Cownie	<jcownie at etnus.com>
Etnus, LLC.     +44 117 9071438

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