[Beowulf] PXE boot with X7DWT-INF IB onboard card

Jörg Saßmannshausen j.sassmannshausen at ucl.ac.uk
Mon Nov 12 05:10:07 PST 2012

Hi Duke

I cannot answer the first question but I try to give some input for the second 
I would have thought you can boot via the gigabit network and do the NFS-mount 
via the IB network? You can run TCP-over-IB so the existing infrastructure 
should work IMHO. My idea is to mount say /usr via the IB network and only 
have the rest run via gigabit network. I have not tried that yet.

On the other hand, you should be able to get some say 60 GB discs for not so 
much money which might be easier instead of fiddling around for a few days to 
get it all up and running. It depends, of course, what you want to do with the 

My two ££ here :D

All the best from a cold London


On Monday 12 November 2012 11:33:46 Duke Nguyen wrote:
> Hi folks,
> We are still on the way of building our first small-cluster. Right now
> we have 16 diskless nodes 8GB RAM on X7DWT-INF and a master also on
> X7DWT-INF with 120GB disk and 16GB RAM. These boards (X7DWT-INF) has
> built-in Infiniband Card (Infiniband MT25204 20Gbps Controller), and I
> hoped that we can create a boot server on the master node for the 16
> clients using IB connection.
> Unfortunately after reading, I found out that our built-card is too old
> for Mellanox FlexBoot:
> $ lspci -v | grep Mellanox
> 08:00.0 InfiniBand: Mellanox Technologies MT25204 [InfiniHost III Lx
> HCA] (rev 20)
>      Subsystem: Mellanox Technologies MT25204 [InfiniHost III Lx HCA]
> whereas FlexBoot requires at least Connect2X-3X to work with.
> My questions are:
>   * any body using the same (or similar main boards) and was able to
> boot using PXE?
>   * if PXE server with Infiniband is impossible, then it is OK with a
> gigabyte connection? Or should we go for 16 disks for these 16 clients
> and dont care much on boot over IB or IP? (more money, of course)
> Thanks,
> D.
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Jörg Saßmannshausen
University College London
Department of Chemistry
Gordon Street

email: j.sassmannshausen at ucl.ac.uk
web: http://sassy.formativ.net

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