[Beowulf] Compute Node OS on Local Disk vs. Ram Disk

Brian Oborn oborn at iac.isu.edu
Tue Sep 30 09:19:04 PDT 2008

> I don't agree with you here as you probably have in mind a 
> kickstart-based install for approach #1 running upon each node boot. I 
> use for a long time a different approach - the node "image" is copied 
> via rsync at boot time; the long waiting time for installing the RPMs 
> and running whatever configuration scripts happens only once when the 
> node "image" is prepared, the nodes only copy it - and it's a full 
> copy only the first time they boot with a new disk, afterwards it's 
> the rsync magic which makes it finish within seconds while making it 
> look like a new disk :-)

This is how our cluster boots. I have a custom initrd that sets up the 
network, partitions and formats the hard drives if necessary, rsyncs the 
root filesystem, and then pivots root to it. It works well except that 
the fileserver gets hammered if there's a time when many nodes are 
turned on at once.

Brian Oborn

Computer Admin
Idaho Accelerator Center
Idaho State University

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