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Old 04-04-2006, 02:42 AM   #1
darkgamer20
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Need help with High School Cluster


Hello everyone,

I am a high school student at Kennedy High School (Fremont, CA). Since there are a lot of unused computers at our school, I asked one of my computer teachers at school if we can build a Linux cluster with all those unused computers. He (the computer teacher) said that that was a great idea, the only problem is neither of us knew how to go about building an actual Linux cluster. So my teacher told me to figure out how to go about setting the cluster and present it to him so that we can get started on building the cluster.

After searching around I found out that I need at atleast the following:

1. A master node that the most powerful computer out of all the computer used.
2. X number of nodes (This is probably going to be a dynamic factor since computer are sometimes used and sometimes not by various teachers around school.
3. A Switch or Hub to connect all the nodes together.

Network Design:

Master Node
|
|
Switch
|
|
Node 1..... Node X

I am pretty sure thats an ok design for starters, tell me if I am missing something or doing something wrong.

So I got the hardware part down.

Now my main question is how can I setup the software part so that all the nodes communicate as flawlessly as possible? If you have any suggestions please feel free to post them. Thank you for your time.

Last edited by darkgamer20; 04-04-2006 at 02:44 AM.
 
Old 04-04-2006, 07:22 PM   #2
wanderingmind
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No personal experience of clustering, but the software you might want is openmosix (?)

http://openmosix.sourceforge.net/

also, there are some books on building a linux cluster. Go to amazon.com and search 'linux cluster'. they are generally around $30, and could save you from lots of trouble. It may well be possible to get the school to buy one book (after all if the cluster works, it could be user to all kinds of educative & fancy stuff.. [wink!])

Good luck for your project, I wish I was there!
 
Old 04-04-2006, 07:26 PM   #3
pljvaldez
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http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Cluster-HOWTO.html
 
Old 04-04-2006, 07:30 PM   #4
pljvaldez
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One thing you might think about before you build a cluster is if a cluster is really going to do what you want it to do.

Clusters only give you benefits on computing that easily breaks into parallel tasks. For example, a cluster would be virtually useless in finite element analysis because each computation relies on the result of the previous computation. Therefore you can't really break up the computation to be done among many processors.

Another good thing to do with those old machines would be to set up a thin client setup. The school could just invest in one good machine, i.e. $4000 US or so and use the rest as terminals for multiple users...
 
Old 04-05-2006, 01:29 AM   #5
J.W.
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This may be OT but you've got a very cool teacher, and I'd encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity he has given you. Being able to choose your own project and get your teacher to give you full support is pretty rare.

Good luck with it and have fun
 
Old 04-05-2006, 02:43 AM   #6
darkgamer20
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hey thanks for the replies guys. The purpose for this cluster is mainly to learn and what it will actaully be doing is Image Generation (I have no idea how to do that yet lol, I plan to learn how after the cluster is setup). pljvaldez, thanks for that link it really helped me make clear things that were "fuzzy" before (like partition layout and some hardware stuff). What do you guys think about Rocks Cluster and OSCAR? Judging from ease of use Rocks Cluster seems to be the way to go. But OSCAR has all the tools and programs in one easy package. Looking into openmosix and OSCAR it seem that OSCAR has Torque which is pretty much the same thing (correct me if im wrong please).

Little favor, can a moderator change the Thread name from "Need with High School Cluster" to "Need help with High School Cluster". Sorry about that typo.

Thanks for your time everyone
 
Old 04-05-2006, 03:13 AM   #7
J.W.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkgamer20
hLittle favor, can a moderator change the Thread name from "Need with High School Cluster" to "Need help with High School Cluster". Sorry about that typo.
To notify the appropriate mod that you'd like him/her to edit the title of your thread, please click on the "Report this post to a Moderator" link on your first post (ie, the one that started the thread) to submit your request

Last edited by J.W.; 04-05-2006 at 03:14 AM.
 
Old 04-06-2006, 02:31 AM   #8
darkgamer20
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Thanks for the Tip J.W. Im waiting for the name change. I was looking into both OSCAR and Rocks and both seem to be very easy to adminstrate (adding, deleting and configuring nodes). Right now I am leaning toward Rocks because of its "Rolls" which allows for a customized installation. Anyone have any opinions or information on Rocks vs OSCAR?

Thanks for your time.
 
Old 04-14-2006, 05:54 PM   #9
pljvaldez
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Saw this article and thought you might like to read it. It's on building a cluster...

http://www.clustermonkey.net//content/view/13/32/
 
Old 04-18-2006, 03:04 PM   #10
darkgamer20
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Thanks for that link pljvaldez, it didn't show me a lot about setting up a cluster as in physical or software term but really showed me how parallel programs work. I am sorry I haven't responded in the past few days as my school work has kept me from doing so. I was wondering if a router can be used instead of a network switch? Since, our school already has a lot of routers I am sure I can get one that is not used. Well Thanks everyone for your time.
 
  


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