> >I work in a scientific computation group. In the next year or so we want
> >migrate from our Sun servers (one v1280 and one e4500; they're old hence
> >slow) to a set of Linux workstations.
> >To share resources, we'd like to cluster the workstations. The cluster
> >should have the following properties:
> >* Load balancing
> >* Each node should be able to access our RAID without having to use a
> >connection like NFS
> >* Software for cluster should be relatively easy to install and maintain,
> >and shouldn't be inordinately expensive (say <~ $30 K)
> I'm not saying I have (any kinf of) answer for you, but I have couple
> of questions which may help others in finding the answer.
Thanks for your kind, informative reply.
Quote:> - looks like you're not looking for failover/fault-tolerance, right?
Quote:> - please elaborate on load balancing -- you said in your other text that
> "true parallelism" is not needed -- so, please explain what it is you
> mean by load balancing; what it should do?
Just that it wouldn't be efficient if one of the CPUs got many heavy jobs
and the others were free.
If we had separate workstations and users could log into any workstation
they liked, by random chance it might occur that an unreasonable fraction of
the heavy jobs were placed on one CPU.
Quote:> - "each node should be able to access our RAID" -- should there be a file
> system shared across the nodes (each node having simultaneous and equal
> read/write access to a set of files), or do you just have a bunch of
> disk space you want to provide to the machines, with no need for
> Do you have the disk server already, or should this be part of the
> specification you're looking for -- if you have the disk server/disk
> subsystem already, it would help to know what it is.
Hmm...don't know enough about disk storage to answer in detail. What I mean
is the following.
* We already have a RAID, equipped with a Veritas FS. I think it's being
run by the Sun v1280 right now, but am not sure.
* There's a lot of data.
* To my admittedly naive eye, it doesn't make sense to assign particular
disk space to particular machines, because that would tie particular CPUs to
particular disk space.
Quote:> Then, NFS necessarily isn't that slow -- esp. if you can provide it
> a switched segment of its own (say, 1Gbit/s segment with jumbo frames
> enabled). Just make sure that flooding protections in the switch don't
> kick in. Perhaps more than one connection trunked to the server so that
> server has more bandwidth than any single client.
OK. Don't know much about that stuff either, but it's very informative to
know that NFS isn't necessarily a terrible bottleneck, whatever else its
faults might be.
> Wolf a.k.a. Juha Laiho Espoo, Finland
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