[Beowulf] cluster toolkit comparison questions

Andrew Fant fant at pobox.com
Fri Jul 29 08:57:22 PDT 2005

Afternoon all,
    I am in the process of making some assessments for architecture on a 
new cluster we are building and I have a couple of questions comparing 
OSCAR vs. Rocks. I certainly don't mind having other options presented, 
but diskless options like warewulf are already precluded because of 
administrative fiat.

1)  How well can Oscar or Rocks be integrated with an LDAP directory? 
Do either of them have some mechanism already available for proxying 
LDAP queries?  On our current cluster, we have had to maintain a local 
password/group repository, which is something that management has been 
less than happy about, given the investment they have made in enterprise 
directory services.

2)  Does Oscar and/or Rocks have support for multiple head nodes?  I've 
been in the habit of using 2 head nodes, one for administrative 
functions, and one for user access, and would really like to maintain 
this practice.  It keeps the administrative tools out of the sight of 
users, it gives me a second gateway into the cluster for redundancy of 
access, and it makes it harder for users to accidentally interfere with 
administrative functions by starting processes on the head node when 
they "forget" that they aren't supposed to.

3) Does either toolkit have problems with home directories coming off 
from a separate NFS appliance instead of living on a filesystem on the 
head node that gets exported to the compute nodes directly from there?

Thanks for you help,

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