Posted by Drag
Right now I am working on my own cluster. 3 machines using the OpenSSI project. Similar concept to OpenMosix and it uses some of OpenMosix's algorythms for it's load balancing.
It uses several software projects and mixes them together in order to try to create a single image cluster.
Basically one root filing system, one unified /dev/ directory, network transparent filing systems, one kernel for each machine working together as one big machine. Added to that you have high availability features such as mirrored root filing systems so if the "initnode" any other machine with a copy of the root filing system can take over. Also supports a virtual network address so that any client machines accessing the cluster will see all the machines as one machine and the network load would get balanced thru all the exposed interfaces. (generally you run a private network just for the cluster and have a few machines with dual nics).
One way to think about it is that your cluster is one big NUMA machine with the private network being the data interconnect between the individual nodes. The only gotcha is that it doesn't support moving individual threads from multithreaded apps, only forks and individual proccesses.
Very ambitious project. I am running into some problems, of course, shouldn't take long to solve it though.
You have several types of clusters, you have computational clusters like Beowolf, high availablity clusters, load balancing clusters, and a few others.
I expect that in a couple years it will get to the point were these things will be plug-n-play type affairs and be fully mature and stable. Right now you can buy several different types of clusters from various companies that are tested and such.
Also check out Redhat's "stateless" linux. To visualise that think about knoppix live cdroms, now think about instead of running a read-only linux from a cdrom, think about loading the OS parts as you need it over a network and having a user have local access to their files on a local harddrive and have that mirrored on backup file servers and accessable thru those on other machines. They would range from thin X clients to thick client desktops to machines that will be functional when you remove them from the network like you would with laptops.
They want it to get to the point were you can go up and grab any PC, toss it out a window, and have a replacement isntalled within minutes with absolutely no loss of data or configuration for the computer's user.
If you can then imagine using something like that in combination with OpenSSI/OpenMosix type projects and IBM's Cell-type stuff and eventually I am thinking that we be having Network Operating systems, instead of just computer operating systems. Entire buildings would be running only a few operating systems with the client PC's being mostly just another node. Sort of like returning back to the mainframe days, except the mainframe is replaced by the cluster and the terminals are the nodes in the cluster.
At least that's what I figure.
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