Clustering options

Justin Hopper jhopper at
Tue Nov 23 22:45:41 GMT 2004

On Tue, 2004-11-23 at 13:16, Alex Pavlovic wrote:
> On November 22, 2004 05:20 pm, Justin Hopper wrote:
> > Is there no appliance that allows for the details of the hardware to be
> > hidden from the OS and instead present to the OS a unified architecture,
> > like it's just one machine, but with the ability to add more nodes to
> > expand CPU, RAM, and disk?  I guess this was my misunderstanding, as
> > this is what I assumed the blade systems did.  I assume it would be
> > incredibly tricky to manage dynamically configurable hardware in the
> > operating system, but I also assumed that somebody had pulled it off,
> > but maybe not?
> There is. It's called SSI or single system image. Basically it provides you 
> with single root, init and process space. Currently I know of two open
> source products that implement this ( OpenSSI and openMosix ). Unfortantely
> they are both targeted toward linux. openMosix seems to be geared toward
> computational aspects ( HPC ), while OpenSSI project is trying to unify 
> various cluster factions and provide a "one size fits all" solution.
> There are some other papers on FreeBSD clusters that people have designed,
> my favourite is the one on a very nice general computing cluster published by 
> Brooks Davis ( Aerospace Corporation ), look here: 
> There is also some information on the grid computing available here:
> Just something on the side, Manex Visual Effects actually used a 32 node
> FreeBSD cluster as the core rendering farm to make some of the special effects 
> for the "Matrix" movie. You can read the story if you haven't already here:

Thank you, this was much more of what I was looking for.  Very
interesting articles, especially the one on the Aerospace Corporation.

At least I have the answer that I was looking for, that the blade
systems are not at all what I was thinking they were.

I wonder what the Aerospace Corporation is doing now with the cluster? 
The paper had mentioned that they might look into the Opteron processor
and amd64 / freebsd 5.x.  It would be interesting to know what they were
able to do with that technology and how their efforts on committing some
of their research back to FreeBSD is going.
Justin Hopper  <jhopper at>
UNIX Systems Engineer
Hosting Division of Digital Oasys Inc.

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