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Linux Cluster

Posted on 2013-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-18
Hi community, I have just been handed a very challenging project. I am to build a Linux Cluster. This is advanced Linux and my back ground is in Windows Desktop support. As you can see I am in over my head, but must at least get started.

This is more of a help cry than a question, so Can someone throw me a life line and get me pointed in the right direction?

Many thanks!
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Question by:capperdog13
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by:arnold
arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 39640657
Which Linux distribution do you have access to?
Redhat/centos, Debian/ubuntu, etc?

You also need to define the purpose for the cluster/cluster type.
Certain clusters require common storage or implementation of storage that replicates data
AFS,drbd,..

Depending on the answer for above, there are different tools to achieve what you want.
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Author Comment

by:capperdog13
ID: 39641930
The didtribution we will be using is Redhat 6, 64bit. I am not sure of the cluster type, but can tell you that it will be used by our analysis team to run structural/thermal simulations from various engineering applications in order to speed through these sims.

Let me know if that is enough info for now to answer your question.
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by:arnold
arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 39642225
Ok, so you are setting up a computational cluster.
Depending on your firms relationship with redhat, the complexity of what you need would be best served by contacting redhat. If you do not already have hardware to be used, you could also contact a hardware vendor with the same information.  This way you will be provided with multiple options while at the same time acquiring the knowledge to deal with such setups in the future.
Hardware vendor is from whom your firm buys hardware
Outline what your requirements are, they will provide you with options.
Does the firm have an existing computational cluster that this one will be upgrading/replacing?

http://www.redhat.com/hpc-grid/
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Author Comment

by:capperdog13
ID: 39642267
We do. It is a ROCKS cluster built more than 5 years ago from spare parts.

HW we have is limited to one server class machine and at least 4 nodes all workstations of equal HW configuration.
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by:arnold
arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 39642314
Pick a system, and while researching what resources your firms needs from this computing cluster, get centos 6 from centos.org and perform a standard system install, configuration to get familiar with the environment in which you will operate/interact
There are several references for centos computational cluster setup examples.
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Author Comment

by:capperdog13
ID: 39642490
Can you tell me where the computational cluster setup references are?
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by:arnold
arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 39643396
IMHO, you should first see/familiarize yourself with OS install/configuration an operations.

i.e. you did not start with windows OS building complex clusters/applications.

A simple search will provide a variety of guides.
having a point of reference from your install of the os and some configuration would help you in understanding the terminology/nomenclature etc.

https://www.centos.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5830
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Author Comment

by:capperdog13
ID: 39643509
Yes I am working that angle simultaneously. :) Today I gathered 3 machines and got a copy of Centos 6.4. I will load one of them tomorrow with that OS and do some configuration.

Googled my arse off today as well on Linux cluster setup and config.

One question. Seems that my colleague believes that Red Hat Server needs to be installed on the host machine. From what i was reading today that was never specified. Is this the case?

We do not currently have a Linux/Unix admin. They all retired or have left the company, so unfortunately my lead knows little more than I do.

Many thanks for your help!
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Accepted Solution

by:
arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 39643640
Are you looking to setup the rocks that will give you the opportunity to match the existing, learn the setup/operation as well as provide a point of reference using the existing setup?
This might be an optimal as it may provide for a seamless transition.

It is redhat based and includes an install guide.


http://www.rocksclusters.org/wordpress/?page_id=449 to download
The guide which you might use to explore the existing setup.
http://central6.rocksclusters.org/roll-documentation/base/6.1/
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39644875
Good gaming videocard will give 10fold performance increase over server CPU for OpenCL
If that is not sufficient:
Here is a walkthrough (you will need 3 virtual machines in (Oracle xVM) virtualbox to try out)
http://www.admin-magazine.com/HPC/Articles/real_world_hpc_setting_up_an_hpc_cluster
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Author Comment

by:capperdog13
ID: 39656545
Looks like this question is no longer valid. The decision has been made to use another turnkey cluster from Penguin used at another facility.

Many thanks to you Arnold for the help. Although the cluster will not be built, I did get allot of experiance setting up a CentOS 6.4 64bit server. This will go along way with the learning curve! We WILL be building a dedicated server to host a calculation application.

Thanks again!
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Author Closing Comment

by:capperdog13
ID: 39656551
Thakns Arnold!!
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