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.
- Always good to document what you do.
- Possible feed back can help improve my understanding/implementation.
- It might be helpful to others.
- The root-file system resides on a master node.
- Salt is here used for two purposes:
- After a minimal install is done to create the virtual master node, Salt brings in all the files and configurations necessary to transform this minimal installation system to function as a master for disk less nodes.
- Once the master is functioning, a minimal disk less virtual instance is created, and again Salt is used configure this properly. The root file system created for this node is then used as a template for further disk less nodes (here only two will be used, but it is straight forward to extend)
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.