About a year ago a large shipment of servers arrived at MSU for the use in a new grid and cluster system for students and faculty of the Montana State University Computer Science department. Once the servers were opened from their boxes we realized that installing the operating system of our choice was going to be complicated considering the units were "engineering samples" and were never used in production. Also each unit was a 1U form factor with no external media device (CDR/DVD/etc). On the newer PIV-Xeon systems (referred to as Server Type 1) the install was not as complicated as originally anticipated. On the other hand the installation of Gentoo on the older Dual-PIII systems (referred to as Server Type 2) was more complicated due to the alpha version of the BIOS installed on the systems.
The tutorial you are currently reading has been broken into 6 different parts to help with captivating the reader at the same time as describing short-cut techniques that were learned along the way (ha ha, captivating). By the end of this tutorial one should grasp the basic concept of how to build a cluster and some simple tricks to make maintaining a cluster easier in the life of a cluster administrator.
Ok, I posted some pictures yesterday and since the new content notifier doesn't have a setting to not notify when just images are posted, everyone got notified... and there wasn't a story to go along with it so I got a few comments asking... HUH?
To clear everything up... I posted the pictures to my Work Image Gallery... because the pictures were work related.
Turns out that two pallets arrived yesterday... because Intel donated twenty-six 1U rack mount servers to the MSU-Bozeman Computer Science Department. It just happens to be my job to do something with them. Hey, it took quite a while to get them all unpacked.