[Beowulf] scratch File system for small cluster

Huw Lynes lynesh at cardiff.ac.uk
Thu Sep 25 07:31:58 PDT 2008

On Thu, 2008-09-25 at 09:40 -0400, Glen Beane wrote:
> I am considering adding a small parallel file system ~(5-10TB) my small
> cluster (~32 2x dual core Opteron nodes) that is used mostly by a handful of
> regular users.  Currently the only storage accessible to all nodes is home
> directory space which is provided by the Lab's IT department (this is a SAN
> volume connected to the head node by 2x FC links, and NFS exported to the
> compute nodes). I don't have to "worry" about the IT provided SAN space -
> they back it up, provide redundant hardware, etc.  The parallel file system
> would be scratch space (and not backed up by IT).  We have a mix of home
> grown apps doing a pretty wide range of things (some do a lot of I/O, others
> don't), and things like BLAST and BLAT.

For a cluster this small you have to wonder whether the complexity and
expense of a clustered filesystem is worth it. I would be very surprised
if a decent NFS server couldn't keep up with your demands. 

I'm sure Joe will be along shortly to recommend Jackrabbit. 


Huw Lynes                       | Advanced Research Computing
HEC Sysadmin                    | Cardiff University
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Tel: +44 (0) 29208 70626        | King Edward VII Avenue, CF10 3NB

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