Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4634 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] How to build a cluster with 64 bit Opterons and SUSE?
  • From: Thomas Hertweck <Thomas.Hertweck@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 17:05:04 +0000
  • Message-id: <4586CA40.3090009@xxxxxx>

HG wrote:
> [...]
> We would like to build a cluster of multiple Opteron based computers.
> The usage is for scientific computing (multiple scientists running
> large processes usually at the same time... :-) Mainly computing but
> also some large flat file access, no DB stuff.
> [...]
> How? Can't find anything really about getting any SUSE version or 2.6
> kernel for that matter to work in cluster. Anybody have any
> experience? Any pointers to resources? Opensourse? Commercial?
> Whatever?

Building a proper cluster and cluster environment is not as easy as it
might sound and involves a bit more than just buying some PC boxes and
network cables, but I am sure you're aware of this problem ;-) First of
all, I think you need to exactly identify the purpose of your cluster.
>From your description, it sounds like you're going to build a compute
cluster for mainly CPU-bound processes. Think about the size of your
cluster, the RAM per cluster node (which depends on the type of
applications and, of course, your budget), and the connection between
cluster nodes. Think about the local disk storage per cluster node you
might require, the remote disk storage, and so on. And don't forget the
cooling solution and power supply...

I would recommend buying a properly configured cluster solution with
some decent cluster management software. Building a big cluster on your
own is a tedious task. If it's a small cluster, it might be much easier.
Well, all of this somehow depends on your budget. You also need a good
queuing system which allows to assign different properties to cluster
nodes (OSS solutions available). There are also pretty good cluster
monitors around (e.g. http://ganglia.sourceforge.net).

We're using several HPC clusters with thousands of CPUs, all running
Linux OS, Kernel 2.4 or 2.6 (I must admit it's RHE not SuSE but this
should not really matter in this context). Sorry, I can't give any more
information in public.

Cheers, Th.

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