[Beowulf] Monitoring crashing machines

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Sep 9 11:19:24 PDT 2008

On Tue, 9 Sep 2008, Carsten Aulbert wrote:

> My question now, is there a cute little way to gather all the console
> outputs of > 1000 nodes? The nodes don't have physical serial cables
> attached to them - nor do we want to use many concentrators to achieve
> this - but the off-the-shelf Supermicro boxes all have an IPMI card
> installed and SoL works quite ok.

Syslog-ng?  Popping a USB flash disk on them to use as an alternative
log location (if the kernel doesn't actively lock up on the disk error)?
Booting from a USB flash image or diskless, so that a disk crash is just
a disk crash?


> Initially, conserver.com looked nice and we also found an IPMI interface
> for it, but that comes with two downsides: (1) it blocks IPMI access (I
> have yet to find out if a secondary user can use SoL when another user
> is using this already, but I doubt it) and (2) it simply does not catch
> messages appearing in dmesg (simple ones like plugging in a USB
> keyboard), but that may be a configuration problem on our side.
> Also we tried (r)syslog but somehow this does not get all the messages
> either, even when using something like *.* @loghost.
> For the time being we are experimenting with using "script" in many
> "screen" environment which should be able to monitor ipmitool's SoL
> output, but somehow that strikes me as inefficient as well.
> So, my question boils down to: How do people solve this problem?
> Thanks a lot
> Cheers
> Carsten

Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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