Request for Cluster Recommendations

Andy Sporner asporner at
Sun Apr 4 03:33:46 PDT 2004

Hi Michael,

I am going to presume you mean a compute cluster
(there are other types) based on the context of your 

I work for a company that makes network switches and
we have seen best case where a server that is doing
for instance a firewall application can do a maximum
of about 30% of a gigabit.  As this is more network
centric rather than compute centric, I would expect
that your utilitization would be lower than this.

For 4 nodes I would think a standard gigabit switch
would be enough.  Managed allows you to have vlans,
which doesn't seem to be requisite in your 

Additionally, haveing a separate network for the
other traffic seems more trouble than it's worth.

If you want reliability, and can find a bonding 
ethernet driver, than I would suggest creating a
Adapter fault tolerance virtual adaptor and then
use 2 gigabit adapters on the server and send them
through two separate switches.

I have looked in the last months for such a driver
on Freebsd without luck.  There was in times past
an FEC driver.  But all reports show that it is 
unstable.  I have tried it anyways and can confirm
that it is in fact.. unstable.  There is a one to
many configuration in netgraph that might however
be usable.

As for the software, somebody else will have to
speak up.  I only work on HA (and later Mosix) type 
clustering for network application scalablity, 
rather than compute farms.

I would suggest if Ronald Milch is still listening
that he would be the perfect answer man for your 
needs as this is his strong area.

Best wishes for your project...


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