[Beowulf] Project Planning: Storage, Network, and Redundancy Considerations

Brian D. Ropers-Huilman brian.ropers.huilman at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 09:41:53 PDT 2007


There are usually three or four categories of storage:

1) /home - small, just enough to keep source files and compile code
2) /scratch/local - distributed disks within a cluster for local
writing (think Gaussian)
3) /scratch/global - a high-performance (and higher cost) parallel
file system accessible by all nodes
4) /archive - a very large pool of spinning disks which receives data
from /scratch/global when a run (or set of consecutive runs) is
"complete." The idea is to clear off the expensive parallel system for
other run-time use, but that you still want to hold the data for some
future need.

I would keep your /home and /scratch/global separate.

The /scratch/global solution you pick will very much depend on how you
want it connected to your clusters. By definition (of your cluster
suite) you cannot have a system that relies on IB as not all of your
systems have IB. This leaves GbE as the only global means of
connection. If at all possible, I would dedicate a GbE interface on
all nodes who access /scratch/global.

Brian D. Ropers-Huilman, Director
Systems Administration and Technical Operations    <bropers at msi.umn.edu>
Supercomputing Institute for Digital Simulation and Advanced Computation
599 Walter Library                                   +1 612-626-5948 (V)
117 Pleasant Street S.E.                             +1 612-624-8861 (F)
University of Minnesota                               Twin Cities Campus
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0255                       http://www.msi.umn.edu/

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