My first Rocks Cluster
I finally got Rocks Cluster installed today. I installed it on the six dual Xeon/P4 machines that Intel donated. Getting this going has taken me a lot longer than I had hoped. It wasn't the fault of the Rocks Cluster software package but the odd combination of hardware.
Doing the Install
The install was not fun for a number of reasons. First, none of the machines had video cards, floppy drives, nor CD-ROM drives. So, I bought some cheap ATI RAGE 8MB PCI cards (about $13.95 each). I was told that once I got the frontend node installed, that I could install all of the compute via PXE boot.
I popped the cover off of the machine that is the frontend node and temporarily installed a CD-ROM drive... booted from the Rocks everything DVD and got the machine installed. Once the frontend node is going, you run a program named
insert-ethers and select
compute from the list. That will cause the frontend node to listen to DHCP requests and put them into the compute node database, assign them an IP address and PXE boot them.
The Compute Nodes
No matter what I did on the rest of the computers (the compute nodes) they would not PXE boot even though there was a LAN boot option in the BIOS. I ended up popping the cover of each individual compute node, temporarily installing the CD-ROM drive and booting from the
kernel CD which got the machine going enough to install everything from the frontend node.
Ok, now I have a cluster... and I since I used the install DVD on the frontend node, I installed all of the rolls. Supposedly I can do stuff with this cluster now but I'm not sure what yet. :)