It's been a while since I blogged, but that's just because we've been busy trying out several Linux liveCD distributions for setting up High Performance Clusters! As you will see in the nabble link above, we have a thread on the http://www.pelicanhpc.org forum regarding our efforts in getting pelicanHPC working on our LAN even though we have tons of DHCP conflicts. We also tried out Cluster By Night which does not suffer from the DHCP problem as it sets up public key authenticated ssh to connect nodes which works right out of the box! I'm also revisiting BCCD as detailed below.
Last week I downloaded their latest ISO (3.0 for 64bit). The problem with this distro is that its slightly too big for a CD, so I had to burn a DVD. Another issue is that when BCCD boots, it copies itself to RAM. An ISO file has some compression associated with it, so the 800MB ISO expands to over 1GB in RAM. I cannot use this ISO as my worker nodes, 64bit Athlon dual-cores, only have 750MB RAM. Next step will be to try the 32bit ISO which is smaller. In fact, I did try the 32bit version on my Xeon dual-cores and the system seems to boot all the way but then fails just when the X windowed desktop should appear. I'll try to boot with the linux 4 cheat code next time.
Cluster by Night Screencast from Dept. Dirigible Flightcraft on Vimeo.
Cluster By Night Update
Well, that's all for this week! Please stay tuned. We hope this record will help others trying to make their own clusters. Also, if you have any hints or pointers, please leave a comment to let us know.