[CentOS-virt] vmware on centos cluster

Thu Sep 11 17:07:01 UTC 2008
Timothy Selivanow <timothy.selivanow at virtualxistenz.com>

On Thu, 2008-09-11 at 14:11 +0200, Mattias Hemmingsson wrote:
> Hello
> I have one question about cluster and vmware.
> I have about 10 computers they are all old once from 1g and 256 ram.
> And now im thinking of putting them all toghter in one cluster.
> This cluster should be an high performing so all computers share they
> performance.
> Now on this cluster i whould like to install one vmware server and make
> that vmware server get the power from all these computers.
> And install a os in that vmware server.
> Is this the way passible to do ?
> // matte

Short answer:  Not possible.  At least not what you are asking for.

Longer answer:

If you used some sort of SSI-style[1] clustering with *very* fast
inter-connects (10Gb Ethernet, Infiniband, etc...), with a lot of luck,
hard work, and man-hours it may be possible.  Although, I'm not sure how
thread-friendly VMware Server is, or exactly how it will behave in that
kind of environment.

Beowulf style clusters require the program that is to be running on it
programmed in a certain way utilizing an MPI[2] library.  By far, the
most common High Performance Clusters utilize grid-style[3] computing
(think SETI, cloud computing, etc...) where things are broken down into
tasks and organized to be run in discreet parts.

VMware's ESX clustering capabilities[4] are *very* limited in this
regard (and also expensive), which it is really coordinating loads
across multiple ESX servers, that are usually pretty powerful
in-of-themselves, and not distributing the load of a single guest across
multiple physical machines.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this very thing...

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_system_image
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Message_Passing_Interface
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_clusters
[4] http://www.vmware.com/products/vi/vc/drs.html