[Beowulf] cluster toolkit comparison questions

Tim Mattox tmattox at gmail.com
Fri Jul 29 13:40:33 PDT 2005

Hello Andrew,
Is there an explanation/reason for the "administrative fiat" against Warewulf?

Warewulf doesn't require that you go diskless...  it's just designed
as the default setup.  You can easily use a node's local disk for
swap, /tmp or whatever you wish.  With the new Warewulf 2.4.x
boot scripts, you can even configure the node's OS image to be
installed on a local disk, rather than the default ramdisk.
You do need to have the ability for the nodes to networkboot with PXE or
a recent version of Etherboot (which can act like a PXE client).

On 7/29/05, Andrew Fant <fant at pobox.com> wrote:
> 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.

I've not used LDAP, but Greg (the lead developer) and others have
used LDAP with Warewulf AFAIK.

> 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.

Warewulf supports having more than one access node.
> 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?

That is easy to configure with Warewulf.  Just add the appropriate NFS
and entry to the template fstab file, which is located in what we call it the
Virtual Node File System.

> Thanks for you help,
>                 Andy

I hope I was helpful...
Tim Mattox - tmattox at gmail.com
    I'm a bright... http://www.the-brights.net/

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