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Building a High-Performance Cluster with Gentoo

Building a High-Performance Cluster with Gentoo

Posted Apr 11, 2007 7:14 UTC (Wed) by amacater (subscriber, #790)
In reply to: Building a High-Performance Cluster with Gentoo by njs
Parent article: Building a High-Performance Cluster with Gentoo

The classic answer on the Beowulf list: It depends. It depends on whether
you admin. your own server or have to rely on central admin. It depends on
the size of your cluster and, more importantly, who your hardware vendors
are. If you buy a 2048 node cluster from IBM, to some exent it's easier to
take the hardware vendor's choice of distro and cluster admin tools. HP's
choice may be different from Penguin's. Two further considerations: fast
interconnect hardware (Quadrics/Mellanox ...) which is an essential for
some classes of problem needs drivers. The companies are relatively small
in terms of staff size and are operating on tight margins in a small
market. It may be that they haven't time to sort out a Debian/Gentoo/Yellow
Dog ... hardware card driver. Lastly, there's the high performance compiler
writers and high-end proprietary software types: they want to debug a known
kernel/memory combination when they get oops reports. You can run highly
successful infrastructures on whichever distribution you like - as ever,
your problem set, resources, time and effort will differ from everyone
else's and, sometimes, it's easier to buy a system off the shelf so that
your users can concentrate on coding and running jobs. Read the Beowulf
list archives for this discussion and minor variants - many times :)

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