Diskless cluster and Salt


Ultimate goal is to come up with a "good" procedure for building a disk less HPC environment, consisting of computers with different roles (e.g., graphic machines, cluster nodes, file servers (which obviously need disks for the data)). In a first step - and it is this part which is described here - I made a virtual environment consisting of one master node and two cluster nodes.

Three goals:

The method used here is based on: Reason to use Salt is that it automates tasks that otherwise need to be performed manually, and, the Salt-structure provides an unambiguous definition of the environment.

I used root-NFS instead of root-RAM mainly because I found it easier.

The Salt-structure used is hoped to be suitable to administer a bunch of computers (disk less or not) with different roles. These roles can for example be divided into: personal workstations, compute nodes in several clusters, storage nodes (as nodes in different parallel file systems), common shared memory machines, a master (from where to submit parallel jobs, and serving as a Salt master).

I tried to organize the stuff so that in Structure and salt implementation I have gathered information regarding how the Salt structure is laid out, and how the different states have been implemented. In Steps by step a reasonably detailed description of how the described Salt structure is used to create a virtual master and two virtual nodes (disk less) using VirtualBox.