Which cluster to use?

Henderson, TL Todd Todd_Henderson at ISL-3Com.com
Wed Sep 18 10:48:38 PDT 2002

Just because you don't use OSCAR or Scyld, or some other cluster software,
doesn't mean you can't have the company network see just one computer.  We
have a 'head' node that is nothing more than a PII with two network cards in
it.  It takes care of our RAID, PBS stuff, etc.  Behind it we have 35 Compaq
XP1000.  They all run out of the box distributions that I've installed mpich
on and compiled our code for.

The thing that looks nice about a lot of the 'cluster' distros is the web
administration interface, the ease of updates since they boot from the main
node, etc.  The updates can be handled with PXE, dhcp, etc.  I suspect as a
cluster grows, the usefullness of specialized clustering tools like Scyld,
OSCAR, etc. becomes much more appealing.  The lease is up on our XP1000's so
we're replacing them with 64 P4's that I think we'll just run Redhat
7.3+mpich on.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Curtas, Anthony R. [mailto:ANTHONY.R.CURTAS at saic.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 10:05 AM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Which cluster to use?
> I am setting up a cluster (albeit very slowly) in our computer lab.
> We have good compilers from Absoft and Portland Group that 
> support parallel
> execution.  However, they are running on RedHat 7.3 with the 
> 2.4 kernel.
> I had a 3 node test system using the Sycld basic setup; but 
> it would not run
> any of our software due to a glibc mismatch (the version with 
> the 2.4 kernel
> was incompatible with the special Sycld version for RedHat 6.3).
> So, I have been doing more research and found Oscar and a few 
> other options,
> including just using pvm, mpich, and lam on standard installations.
> I like the Oscar and Sycld idea of having the network see one 
> machine and
> then just doling out jobs to the slave nodes.
> Does anyone have other suggestions?  Or is it going to be a 
> while before we
> have what we need for a RH7.3 cluster?
> Thanks,
> Anthony
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