possibilty of clustering in a single box
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Thread: possibilty of clustering in a single box

  1. #1
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    possibilty of clustering in a single box

    hey, i was just wondering what you guys though of the possiblity of clustering several comps into a single box?
    i want to use this comp not only for a server but as a personal comp as well i already have a few 386 available. i was just looking to this as a cheap alternitive to buying a server (wich i most certainly dont have the money for). i want to run an ftp and a webserve off of these boxes; the reason i want to cluster is alone no one of them have to power to handle this kind of work ( i dont think).

    q: do you think this is a practical answer to my problem ?
    q: would any of you say that this would be even worth doing? or would i be better off just getting some server space somewhere (i am trying to avoid this because of money issues).
    q: should i put these seperate comps into a single box? i do have limited space but do you think the cooling of this box would just take up more space than the boxes do now ?
    q: would i have to build a special case or is there a company that offers oversize cases for this purpose?

    If you guys have any other suguestions of things i could do they would be most welcome
    chown -r us ./bases

  2. #2
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    You are using the term clustering, but I'm not sure what you think you're going to do. You might possibly cluster the systems using a Linux distro that can support clustering. That is an OS solution. The individual systems will function as one larger, more powerful, parallel processing system.

    There are others here who could comment better on the possiblities of clustered Linux (but I hear it is a cheap way to make a super-computer).

    You could build a box that houses all the mobo's of the systems you have available, but it would take about as much space as the original systems in their original boxes. And, it wouldn't change the fact that they are individual systems, requiring individual memory, power supplies, etc.

    ??

  3. #3
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    You can also use Win2k advanced server to build a cluster. You can build an MS "cluster" in one of two ways, using cluster service, or using what is called network load balancing clusters. The NLB cluster is not a cluster in the traditional sense, it is instead a protocol cluster. Both technologies are very stable and work very well. You would however need more power than a 386 can provide.

  4. #4
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    You are using the term clustering, but I'm not sure what you think you're going to do. You might possibly cluster the systems using a Linux distro that can support clustering. That is an OS solution. The individual systems will function as one larger, more powerful, parallel processing system.
    i want to do both.... i want to know if it is more effective to condence all the systems to one box or not, in addition to this i was wondering if u would have to reatain moniters for all the systems or if i could direct all the traffic to one moniter?...also what is a good cluster distro of linux?
    chown -r us ./bases

  5. #5
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    Placing all the hardware in one container would be great, in theory. But the age of the equipment you mentioned indicates that you would be better off just getting a KVM switch (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) so one monitor, keyboard and mouse can manage multiple systems. Those can be had for about $100 to $200, plus cabling.

    If you want to put multiple processors into a single housing, the current technology for this involves blade servers. Since you mentioned a financial limitation that would be out of reach.

    For a low-cost method of clustering systems, though, I'd still pursue a clusterable Linux. It's free. the Windows 2000 or 2003 alternatives are very expensive, in comparison and would not run well on your hardware.

    As for a recommendation on the Linux, I will bow to the wisdom of the more Linux-knowledgable out there.

  6. #6
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    Why the hell do you want to build a Cluster, and what advantage would it be ..
    Well the tech challenge alone would be enough for me.....

    Hmmm. I do wonder about using 386's.. wouldn't pentium 100's be better.. esp using RH8/9? you may with rh6.. dunno.. i won't be able to find out.. all my 386/486 mobo's are now works of art... Epoxied and hanging on the wall..

    cheers
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

  7. #7
    rebmeM roineS enilnOitnA steve.milner's Avatar
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    Try reading around this site for some idea of what will be involved.

    http://www.beowulf.org/

    Steve
    IT, e-commerce, Retail, Programme & Project Management, EPoS, Supply Chain and Logistic Services. Yorkshire. http://www.bigi.uk.com

  8. #8
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    You'd probably have to make sure that the 386 have a math's co-processor to work with the kernel, I could be wrong,

    Im going to do a clustering project soonish, Im taking delievery of something like 10 x 800mhz computers soonish, so should be able to construct a good super computer. saying that you can do it nicely with 486's you wont have much power but its a good project.

    O'reily's do a good how-to book on clustering with suitable scripts and stuff that you would find useful. Its about beowulf clustering

    this link inspired me ages ago http://www.zorg.org/projects/cluster.shtml

    openMosix is a useful bit of software which will mean you dont have to re-code applications to run on the cluster

    PM me if you have questions maybe we can share info or something

    i2c

  9. #9
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    Linux clustering would definitely be the way to go. Just realize that these systems will have to be dedicated to running server software. Because of the speed of the processors you will not be able to run current desktop environments, OS emulation, or games of any type. If you stick to purely running shells and the limited amount of protocols you described it should work ok.

    You do not get any benefits by having them in the same case. You cannot share power supplies as most 386 power supplies are not going to power multiple motherboards. You do not need to worry about a KVS appliance or sharing a monitor as you would only be shelling to the different systems you could use SSH to control the other members of the cluster. You would just need to have a video card/monitor installed at one point to do the initial configuration.

    Sounds like a fun project. Just realize that it will not be a simple thing to get it all up and running if you are not at all experienced with clustering software. The information is out there, you will just need to spend some time reading before you start to install all the software.

  10. #10
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    thanks everybody i have started reading the sites and info you guys provided along with my own research
    ( i <3 google) i cant wait to start building this box it should be a challange =)
    chown -r us ./bases

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