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Old 02-28-2004, 03:10 AM   #1
Jack Poer
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Question Is the Beowulf cluster used for only Parallel programs?


Is the Beowulf cluster used for only Parallel programs? Can sequential(one
thread) programs,such as open office or vim, run on it?
There are about 10000 dumb terminals and old PCs in my company, my leader told me to reuse these devices in order that staffers can use open
offices and xmms and vim etc.,is it possible?if yes,then how can i do?if not,why?
thanks a lot!
 
Old 02-28-2004, 07:35 AM   #2
ranger_nemo
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Instead of a cluster, I would suggest you are looking for the Linux Terminal Server Project. << www.ltsp.org >>

You run one computer with a full install, and a number of computers that boot from it. The terminals don't even need a hard-drive, everything is stored on the server. You only need to keep the server up-to-date, because the terminals load their system from it.
 
Old 02-29-2004, 03:25 AM   #3
Jack Poer
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But one computer as a server is not, i suppose, powerful enough to serve so many dumb terminals, are there some types of cluster to adapt to this environment?
any thoughts welcome -)
 
Old 03-01-2004, 05:07 AM   #4
Terry Fisher
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Lightbulb

We build HPC clusters all day every day, and you can use them for much more than just running parallel jobs!!.

We have tried this - using a cluster to run a load of old diskless workstations running off a HPC cluster back end, and it works!!.....

However, its not just a case of running beowulf, and connecting systems together. If you are serious, then this is what you need to do....

Create your Linux Cluster

Connect diskless client PCs via Ethernet

Modify Linux distibution to act as X-Windows Server, with one node set up as front end server

Create boot sequence that will boot headless nodes so they can run an X-Window session from the server. We were able to run most open source apps such as OpenOffice on multiple client systems.

If you want more information on how we did this, I can provide details,

Regards

Terry
 
Old 03-02-2004, 03:37 PM   #5
ranger_nemo
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One computer doesn't need to serve ALL the terminals. You can set-up small groups... Maybe one server in each office with a handful of terminals on it. Basic'ly, each server would have two network cards: one leading to the main network and all the other servers, and one leading to a hub and the terminals it serves. How many terminals do you need to supply? I'd much rather control a hundred servers with ten terminals each than the equivalent thousand individual computers.

Start with a single test group. If it works, you can add more groups to the network, as you have time. Eventually, it could be worked similar to a cluster... Each server would run in a semi-node mode. That way, you could have a main computer somewhere that controlled the network, passing updates and commands to the servers along the network.
 
Old 03-03-2004, 12:11 AM   #6
Jack Poer
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Thank all for your warming help! But i don't understand very well yet,expect
details!
 
Old 10-11-2004, 09:50 AM   #7
RDCC
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I've setup a group of 15 thin clients that run off a single server and interface perfectly with the existing network.
At the moment it uses k12LTSP, but I am considering the move to Slackware 10.0 and LTSP.
I also have a test system of 1 server and 5 thin clients running with Slackware 10.0 and LTSP which I am using to test clustering options.

Please keep me informed of your progress and don't hesitate to ask if you need any further help.

Robert Dorrian
robert.dorrian@gmail.com
 
  


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