[Bioclusters] Request for discussions-How to build a biocluster Part 3 (the OS)

Sylvain Foisy bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Thu, 2 May 2002 13:56:25 -0400


A reminder: this is coming from a total newbie at this BioCluster stuff. 
it is also to serve as the seed of a tutorial/history-of-building site 
for our creation. I am a total newbie in UNIX administration and 
installation. This is why we will get a system administrator to help us 
out. But I still have to figure out the right questions to ask!!


Well, it will be Linux of course. Around here, we use Red Hat 7.2, 
Mandrake and Debian. Any preferences? Any one of them is easier to 
install/configure for clusters?

 From what I could figure out from data on the web, it boils down to disk 
vs. diskless. Since part of the database will reside in each and 
everyone of the nodes, am I wrong to assume that the nodes need to have 
Linux on their disk to boot from it? Would it be possible to have the 
database files on local node disk but still have the nodes boot from a 
disk image located on the master node?


After reading the archive, I think that any kernel above 2.4.17 is OK 
for cluster use. Any of these is cluster-optimized? Is it worth the 
trouble to compile from scratch or a simple download would be enough? 
What is the decision that will guide someone to change kernel?


Nodes won't need any Internet service besides FTP so that should keep 
the install small. Any file service needed since some data will reside 
on the local drive?

The head will be a tad more complex. It will have to have some services 
like sendmail (e-mail of results) and SSH. We do not intend to run 
Apache: the web-front will reside on a Sun Cube3 that will pass the 
instructions/data/results to the head via the network.

Am I missing something?

This is open for helpful and constructive discussion


Sylvain Foisy, Ph. D.
BIONEQ - Le Reseau quebecois de bioinformatique
Tel.: (514) 343-6111 poste 5188
E-mail: foisys@medcn.umontreal.ca