[K12OSN] A Beowulf server for K12LTSP?

Petre Scheie petre at maltzen.net
Wed Nov 9 18:50:29 UTC 2005

The problem with clustering, in a K12LTSP context, is that not all apps will migrate 
well from one cluster node to another.  But I think there is a simpler route: Have one 
machine act as server (you'll probably want to add a bit of RAM) and dedicate one 
machine to each application.  Have all the app machines NFS mount /home, then just have 
icons that call 'ssh appserver app' for each application.  You'd want to pare down the 
number of apps to just those needed, but it might work.  It would at least be 
interesting to see the results.


Henry Hartley wrote:
> This is a bit of an odd question, perhaps, but the company I work for in
> my day job is surplussing a bunch of old Dell 566MHz Celeron computers
> (128MB RAM, 10MB drives).  I know they'd make perfectly nice client
> machines but that's not usually the bottleneck.  There are lots of
> machines of this class, or even PIIs) to be had, particularly in this
> area (Maryland suburbs of Washington DC).  The thing that actually costs
> money is the server.
> So, a thought occurred to me when I saw three stacks of about 25 of
> these machines each.  Could you build a Beowulf machine out of these old
> machines to act as server?  I suppose you'd still want to invest in some
> hard drives and build a RAID array of some sort but would the combined
> memory and processors be able to take the place of a server?  Would it
> take too many machines to be worthwhile?  Like 50 machines to run a 25
> client lab - not counting client machines?  On the other hand, they are
> essentially free.  Of course, there's always the power consumption to be
> considered.  
> Or is this a stupid idea.

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