[CentOS] Motherboards for HPC applications

John R Pierce pierce at hogranch.com
Tue Mar 9 18:25:04 UTC 2010

Eduardo Grosclaude wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 1:08 AM, John R Pierce <pierce at hogranch.com> wrote:
>> for a high performance compute cluster, you'll probably want to use
>> management software like Oscar, which integrates system management with
>> MPI based distributed computing such that you can manage a cluster of
>> 100s of servers like its a single big system
> I've been using Kusu with much success. Sadly, you're pretty much on
> your own there as the project seems unsupported or sucked dry out by
> Platform.com.
> I hope it to fully reincarnate in Red Hat's HPC proposal and that it
> eventually makes its way into CentOS.

note that Oscar 6.x can be used with Centos 5.x (or debian or suse), and 
it seems like Centos is their preferred platform.

I setup an Oscar test cluster some time ago using some old PCs, it was 
surprisingly easy.  you install the oscar packages on your 'master' 
server, this one has two connections, one to your LAN and one to your 
HPC cluster (which is on its own switch).    Then you PXE boot your HPC 
nodes and they get installed with a centos+scientific kit, inculding any 
custom application stuff you specified.   then you just run your MPI 
based application(s), and its automatically distributed across the nodes 
of the cluster, Oscar also provides monitoring (Ganglia) and other stuffs.

MPI is a standard Message Passing Interface used in scientific 
computing, essentially you write your software such that it accepts 
messages telling it what to do and sends messages with the results.   
This works best for applications that don't need a lot of global 
interactions, where each unit of computation can be self contained for 
some reasonable period of time.   

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