Beowulf Cluster with Xen on IBM bladecenter for Private Virtual Machine Farm
I'm probably dreaming, but I have a hobby project in mind that I would like feed back on.
I have an opportunity to purchase a 3 year old fully populated (14 x 3Ghz dual Xeon nodes) IBM bladecenter relatively inexpensively.
I thought it would be fun to set it up as a beowulf cluster with open source xen and test the market to see what people would pay for Private virtual machines.
My thoughts are to use 64 bit Centos 5 as a base to get the beowulf cluster up and then load xen.
I haven't really looked at the market but I figure I should be able to run 50 private virtual machines charging say $50 per month. I figure I can use rsync to backup the virtual machines to a different location. I plan to connect to linux based Network Storage running 3 x sata 1TB drives, probably via iSCSI. Along with the drive capacity currently on the blades I should get 2-3Tb online capacity over a Gbit network. (Cisco 14 + 4 network switch module)
I realise I have a bit of setup work to do and before I go investing a lot of time and a little money I'd appreciate some pragmatic advice as to why this may be a stupid venture.