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Old 06-03-2007, 04:03 AM   #1
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Linux Cluster/Server configuration


I am working for a research group that requires to do a large amount of data analysis (each of these files could be up to 1 gig in size). We're planning on buying up to 10 pc with linux on them to do these scientific processing (matlab, etc ) but what would be the best server configuration ? Prefereably, we would like to maintain all the data on one server and send it out to the linux box for processing automatically. Would a beuwolf cluster be a good approach or does anyone have a better suggestion ? The worst case scenario is that we drop the file manually into these linux box and use remote desktop to run them.

Thanks, Dave
Old 06-03-2007, 09:40 PM   #2
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I don't think beowulf is the way to go, that is more form trying to take advantage of SMP, which matlab probably doesn't. I'd suggest just hooking the computers together in whatever home-network style you want. From there you have two options - set up an ftp server on one computer and have it serve the files to the other computers or set up an NFS (or samba) share with the files on it and allow the other computers to mount that. With files around 1 gig I would recommend the ftp server, but the choice is up to you.

Advantages of the ftp:
+less network load
+cannot corrupt work if two computers simultaneously open the same file

Advantages of the nfs:
+slightly simpler to use
+provides your changes back to your colleagues faster.

Any self-respecting linux distro has an ftp server in its repository or on the install CD. Likewise, any decent distro can do NFS for you too.
Old 06-05-2007, 02:03 AM   #3
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Check It mounts remote filesystem as a local drive, provides faster access, distributes load between multiple systems.
Try to implement and check.
Tell us if you find any problem.
Old 06-11-2007, 11:19 AM   #4
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Maybe a NFS diskless sharedroot cluster [1] could be useful for your setting. A NFS server provides a common root filesystem for the diskless clients. They boot the exact same operating system and form a single system image on filesystem basis. All results that are stored on the filesystem are instantly available to all cluster nodes. The read/write access is competively for all nodes. New nodes can be added very easily because they boot the same root filesystem. The configuration of the whole cluster is like a single linux box.

Old 06-11-2007, 11:42 PM   #5
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I would strongly recommend you drbd:



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