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Clusters and Diskless Machines

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Cluster

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Location
Canuckistan
I want to setup a cluster. A simple one for now. I have an old P166mmx that i wanna fire up but it won't read any disks, not sure why. How do i get this thing to boot off my other computer. It's a win2k pro box. Do i need win2k server? I also got another mobo on the way that i wanna get folding but don't have the moola for a HDD.

What all do i need to setup a load balancing cluster. I was told 1 NFS partition on my main box with the software on it ([email protected]). And will beowulf work on win2k or just *nix?
 
OP
C

Cluster

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Location
Canuckistan
Kingslayer said:
If you plan on going Microsoft, your going to need Advanced server. It's the only MSFT OS that supports clustering.

Is there a guide somewhere that can explain how to set this up. What i would like to do is put older 486/sparc/motorolla/ppc processors to use folding. Have one computer (duron850) and maybe 3-4 hundred smaller ones and have them cruchin in a load balancing cluster. I'd also like it for them to boot of the server so i don't need HDD's in each of them. thx.
 

PolyPill

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2001
Location
Germany
I'm not sure what you want clustering for. If all you want to do is folding then I wouldn't even bother with the cluster. A processing cluster (beowulf) isn't really possible with win2k, win2k only does application clustering which requires expensive shared disk drives. A beowouf is more for rendering, it'd be easier to just use diskless linux stations and each running a seperate instance of the folding program for each node.

You will also get the most cpu power avoiding win2k and using linux. Only run the bare minimum (no giu and all that crap)
 
OP
C

Cluster

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Location
Canuckistan
PolyPill said:
I'm not sure what you want clustering for. If all you want to do is folding then I wouldn't even bother with the cluster. A processing cluster (beowulf) isn't really possible with win2k, win2k only does application clustering which requires expensive shared disk drives. A beowouf is more for rendering, it'd be easier to just use diskless linux stations and each running a seperate instance of the folding program for each node.

You will also get the most cpu power avoiding win2k and using linux. Only run the bare minimum (no giu and all that crap)

I would run separte instances on each computer, but the computers won't fold fast enough. They'll be 486 and low pentiums. I was thinking of like 3-4 hundred of them.

Any opinions on the best way to set this up? Maybe a site or two?
 

Xaotic

Very kind Senior
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Location
Greensboro NC
I've got to agree with Polypill. You'll have too much overhead in a large cluster from synchronization. Clustering can be run on 2K Server using Application Ceter 2000, but the liscensing is nuts. Currently, it's 2400.00 per processor in addition to the OS costs. Linux is the way to go with the older machines. You may be able to cluster them in Linux with a lower overhead, but it'll still be more efficient to run them individually.
 

Kingslayer

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Location
Port Charlotte, Florida
You're telling him he doesn't have the CPU overhead while he's telling you he plans on running up to 300 computers. Let's see.....33Mhz, time 300 computers = 9900 Mhz.

I know 2000 Advanced Server is a system hog, but it's not that bad....
 

Crash893

"The man in black fled across the desert,
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
you would also need a nic for each comptuer right?

how are you going to power all these compuers

300 times 145-200 watts each?

going to kill you bill
 

Kingslayer

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Location
Port Charlotte, Florida
Cluster said:
Now where would one goto get 300 free 486's? Only need to have case,mobo,psu,cpu,mem.


That's the easiest question so far. Go to a state/federal/military auction, they are still getting rid of these dinosaurs by the pallet and on the cheap.
 

PolyPill

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2001
Location
Germany
Well to do this all legally with MS is going to cost you a fortune. Also the power bill that was mentioned is going to be huge. You'd save money in the long to buy a few power house computers and put linux on them. An up side is you prolly wont have to use your heater in the winter.

Also, on a very slow computer, every little but of cpu/memory you can free up helps a lot, and 300 comps using 10% less cpu through linux is quite a bit. That is a low estimation.

If you're doing diskless with linux each node will get the folding program and start at boot, this will save you a lot of time compared to clustering. Also, a cluster needs a 100mbps network of switches, 24 port 3com switch is about $700. I don't see this as being practical. Although I could be wrong about needing 100mbps.

You should start with a small group of computers, 5 to 10, and try both methods, and see what works for you then add more when you've got it figured out. Maybe you can prove me wrong with a cluster of win2k advanced servers running on 486's, but I doubt it.

tip: if you're gonna use linux try and get the same nic for every node, it'll save you hours of headaches.

***edit***

New point: Folding is already a cluster application, why bother making another cluster for this when it's already part of a cluster. Learning experience is the only real value I see.
 
Last edited:

Twinkle

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2001
Location
Maryland, USA
See if you can get coax network cable, and cards, because they should be very chep, and you dont need hubs, or swiches or anything else.
 

Crash893

"The man in black fled across the desert,
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
well i think the point is beucase one pos computer can complete a wu in time for folding so if you have 10 or so you can put them to work on 1 so you can finish on time instead of takeing 10 wu and not finishing any