Category archives: ACM Cluster

All posts related to cluster design, building and maintenance at the ACM.

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Building the ACM Cluster, Part 11g: OpenAFS RPM Build

OpenAFS is the open source version of the AFS - a file system developed at Carnegie-Mellon University.  AFS has a global, DNS-based address space.  It also has a ton of nice features with respect to allowing users to create and control their own groups and much more granular permissions.  All in all it seems to be a ...

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Building the ACM Cluster, part 11f: ZFS on Linux

ZFS is one of those pieces of software that is almost frighteningly good at what it does.  It has a whole slew of features that make it, for many uses, the perfect filesystem.  These include: deduplication, compression, data integrity guarantees (ZFS can detect and repair silent data corruption), copy-on-write architecture and a built in concept of ...

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Building the ACM Cluster, Part 11e: Building Ceph

Ceph is a distributed storage engine.  It can be used in a whole number of different ways - for example, as a block device or an object store.  The current version is codenamed argonaut, hence the header image.

In the ACM cluster, we're using it as the storage engine for VMs.  This makes a lot ...

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Welcome back to my ongoing series on building the JHUACM VM cluster.  In this part, I'm going to be focusing on building the RPM driver for the Myricom fiber cards that were given to us with the cluster.  Unfortunately the drivers for this are closed source.  However, through my connections to physics, I was ...

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Next up,  lets build RPMs of Xen, a hypervisor.  Xen was chosen because on machines which do not have virtualization bits (like the cluster I'm building), Xen will do paravirtualization, which is still somewhat quick.Xen also has the concept of clustering and shifting VMs between instances - an important feature in a VM cluster ...

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Up to this point, we haven't built any custom software for the cluster.  I've tried very hard to use mostly off the shelf software.  However, this has to change.  Several of the major components we're going to use (xen, the fiber card driver, ceph) are not available in the CentOS repositories (or ...

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Now that we're done with network configuration.  Now, lets actually build an operating system to use on the nodes!

Lets go ISO Huntin'!

The first step in building operating system install images is to get the full operating system images.  Not netboot, but a fully installable version.  For CentOS the mirrors page is a ...

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(This post is related to the ACM cluster build.  However, it is really generic systems stuff and not terribly related to the actual cluster build.  It is much more closely related to quirks of JHU networking.)

The Problem

JHU has two distinct networks - firewalled and firewall-free.  (In truth there are more and there are ...

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