Re: Building a cluster

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Author: Kevin Fries
To: Main PLUG discussion list
Subject: Re: Building a cluster
Steven is correct.  But I would like to take you a step further in your thought process.

There are many reasons to cluster machines, but but the conversation generally comes down to one of three big use cases:

  1) Increased compute capacity
  2) Redundancy
  3) Failover

Open Stack which was previously mentioned is an open source project which was mentioned before is often used to provision clusters... it's not a cluster itself, but can help you manage them.

Let's look at the three use cases I listed above.

A cluster for Increased compute capacity generally takes a job (work to be done) and divides it into smaller units, then distributes it across multiple nodes.  See Open MPI to get an idea.

Another example of increased capacity could also be bringing web servers online or offline to match capacity.  Think of AWS and ELB+Scaling Groups+Instances as an example of this.

A cluster for redundancy allows programs to insure uptime by making multiple servers having the same task.  Set up three web servers and shared storage (think NAS not shares), and use DNS round robin to create this type of cluster.

Failover clusters keep server one taking requests and a heartbeat between it and a failover machine.  If the heartbeat fails (primary machine stops respondong) begin transfering to the secondary machine.

OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Cloud Foundry are all great tools for building clusters that can translate into experience employers want.

Kevin Fries

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On Apr 16, 2019, 9:19 PM, at 9:19 PM, Stephen Partington <> wrote:
>this depends on what you want it to be doing. you can do something with
>OpenStack and that technically is a cluster. or you could get old
>and look into beowolf clusters.
>On Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:42 PM Harold Hartley <>
>> I’m looking at building a cluster and I know there are different
>types. I
>> haven’t fully decided on what I would be using it for.
>> Well, I have 4 computers about 3 or 4 years old and all have i5
>> with 8 gigs ram in each. I am not sure what size hard drives I want
>> them. I am looking at doing animations making my own small video
>movie like
>> and then post on my blog. Even thought of other uses as well.
>> Would anyone have an idea what type of cluster I should go with.
>> --
>> Harold Hartley
>> 17632 N. 5th place
>> Phoenix, AZ 85022
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