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Subject: Re: [OMPI users] cluster LiveCD
From: Ben Payne (ben.is.located_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-08-07 15:11:30


You are correct in assuming the Windows nodes are DHCP. However,
while the cluster is in operation I can (if needed) remove the
connection to the rest of the world at the switch. Then introducing a
(new) DHCP server doesn't cause a conflict. I wouldn't want other
computers on the network (that are not part of the cluster) to see the
PXE master and then boot to that.

I have enabled PXE in BIOS.

Thanks,

Ben

On Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 2:03 PM, Tim Mattox <timattox_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> I think a better approach than using NFS-root or LiveCDs is to use Perceus in
> this situation, since it has been developed over many years to handle this
> sort of thing (diskless/stateless beowulf clusters):
> http://www.perceus.org/
> It leverages PXE booting so all you need to do on a per-node basis is enable
> PXE booting in the BIOS. The primary limitation I see would be if your
> windows machines are set up to use DHCP to get their IP addresses from
> some server that is outside your control, since Perceus would need to take
> over DHCP services to do its magic.
>
> On Wed, Aug 6, 2008 at 6:05 PM, Adam C Powell IV <hazelsct_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>> On Tue, 2008-08-05 at 17:01 -0500, Ben Payne wrote:
>>> Hello. I am not sure if this is the correct list to ask this
>>> question, so if you know of a more appropriate one please let me know.
>>>
>>> I think am looking for a LiveCD that supports MPI, specifically one
>>> that has mpif90 built in, and can easily mount external (USB) drives
>>> for storing data.
>>>
>>> I have access to 40 Windows computers in a lab that rarely gets used.
>>> I would like to use the computers to run a cluster during the
>>> weekends, but be able to not mess with the Windows installation that
>>> exists on the hard drive. Because of this, I think a LiveCD would be
>>> good, and one that supports PXE booting is even better. If there is a
>>> better way to do this (run MPI, not disrupt Windows) please let me
>>> know.
>>
>> The easiest way to do what you want is probably to netboot from a server
>> on the subnet with NFS-root. That way you don't need to make a bunch of
>> new CDs to upgrade a single piece of software. Just upgrade/modify the
>> environment on the server, and everybody else upgrades instantly.
>>
>> Turn on the server and reboot the machines, and you're in Linux with
>> MPI. Disable PXE at the server and reboot and you're back in Windows.
>>
>> LTSP has some tools to do this, as does the Debian package lessdisks.
>> The basic principle is in http://wiki.debian.org/DebianLive and
>> http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/HowTo/LtspDisklessWorkstation . The
>> old diskless package did this beautifully, but bitrotted and is
>> deprecated due to lack of maintenance.
>>
>> -Adam
>> --
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>>
>> Engineering consulting with open source tools
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>>
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>
>
>
> --
> Tim Mattox, Ph.D. - http://homepage.mac.com/tmattox/
> tmattox_at_[hidden] || timattox_at_[hidden]
> I'm a bright... http://www.the-brights.net/
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