[Beowulf] small-footprint MS WIn "MinWin"

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Oct 23 12:48:48 PDT 2007

On Tue, 23 Oct 2007, James Cownie wrote:

>> I'm just curious.  Who runs their cluster nodes at level 1 or 2 (plus
>> networking as needed)?  Anybody?  Show of hands?
> Seems to me that your "DOS" could equally be a description of SUNMOS 
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUNMOS) and its descendants, which (AFAIK) are 
> still in use at Sandia running significantly large clusters solving 
> production problems.
> Indeed Cray's Unicos/ic (the node os in the XT machines) describes in a 
> similar way, and may even be the latest Sunmos descendant, if not it's 
> certainly philosophically close.
> So the answer to your question is likely "Quite a lot of people". (Or, maybe, 
> a few people, but they have a *lot* with a lot of nodes :-))

I expected the latter, actually.  Scyld may be a similar sort of model
as well.  I was more curious about how many people on list are running
clusters that are currently configured to run nodes set up for a minimal
kernel or specialized kernel with little multitasking.

This fits in the tradeoff I described.  Very large clusters shift the
marginal benefit curve for the work and expertise required to run a
cluster where the nodes are basically very stupid and very specialized.
Easiest is to just make a kickstart file or package list for a "rich"
node that has more than the bare minimum set of stuff installed, and
that can still (for example) run logins and ssh's in userspace (if only
for root and administrative users).


> --
> -- Jim
> --
> James Cownie <jcownie at cantab.net>
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Robert G. Brown
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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