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DSB7
Premium
join:2002-06-25
Cambridge, ON

Farm information

Hey everybody,

Could someone point me towards some more information about building/running a "folding farm" setup? I saw the Foldinator page and have become quite interested in this area, but I'd like some more information about server farms generally and their interaction with F@H specifically. Thanks!
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sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23
What kind of folding farm are you interested in building, DSB?

Some of us have simply added more computers, networked them and installed clients on them.

Others have been building what they call blades (without cases, sometimes sharing HDDs or even PSUs), which allow them to afford running even more clients than had they paid the cost of building whole computers.

There are so many different variations of this, some requiring more skill than others to implement. It might help if we knew more about your abilities with hardware to be able to recommend a possible solution for you.

Unfortunately, last HDD crash on my main box here, I lost all my links to the blade farms people have posted here. Perhaps others will supply those again. I'm sure many know where they are.

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DSB7
Premium
join:2002-06-25
Cambridge, ON
I think if anything I would be building blades -- to keep costs down and to get maximum value. Hardware is really no prob -- I've been building computers for a few years now. Linux skill - moderate. I've played around a bit with Linux, but nothing serious. Any linkage would be appreciated!
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wafen
Mr woogie
Premium,MVM,Ex-Mod 2006-14
join:2001-02-01
Maplewood MN
kudos:1
reply to DSB7
Here is some examples for you: »ws9.jobnegotiator.com/html/flinks.html


parkut
Crunch Addict
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-15
Harrison Township, MI
kudos:7
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·WOW Internet and..
reply to DSB7
I've built a number of blades for distributed computing projects, caseless type. I usually run Linux because you don't have to pay for an operating license. I run FAH on dual AMD MP boards, Tyan 2460's mostly.

Motherboard, power supply, hard drive, CPU, fan and memory. Once I get the board configured the way I want it, you can usually forget it. Check in once in a while via VNC, or monitor it with EM3 just to see it's still running.

There are others here who have figured out how to build dedicated crunching machines that are diskless, remote booting over the network, which saves the bother of a hard drive, and reduces power consumption. And still others that have managed to get two motherboards running off a single power supply.

The way I do it is easy for me. I can usually build and configure a board and install Linux in less than an hour.


DSB7
Premium
join:2002-06-25
Cambridge, ON

Nice neat job there parkut - cables and all. What did you use as attachments for the MB? Some kind of standoffs or just screws? (I was thinking the diskless route for economy's sake.)

wafen - thanks for the link, a lot of info there! Time for some light reading methinks.
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[text was edited by author 2003-10-02 15:38:55]


parkut
Crunch Addict
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-15
Harrison Township, MI
kudos:7
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·WOW Internet and..
reply to DSB7
Click for full size
I use #6 x 3/4 phillips head sheet metal screws and mount the motherboard directly to plywood. I have not found heat to be a problem. Others have used spacers, pieces of cut plastic tubing, or larger plastic beads under the board.

If you have access to a metal shop, you can get some really nice home-brew racks made to hold everthing when done.


DSB7
Premium
join:2002-06-25
Cambridge, ON
Is that your rack there? That's a nice piece of work for sure.

So did you use preexisting mounting holes in the MB or drill your own? And you just screwed it right to the plywood?

Thanks again!
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MstrBlstr0
Premium
join:2001-07-14
Corpus Christi, TX
reply to DSB7


FKrooG2
Working my way back
Premium
join:2000-09-28
Tha Zone
reply to DSB7
A few of us here started playing around with diskless blades a long while back. The project is not dead just moving slow...

Here are a few links to the beginning of it all.....

»The BOUNCE Development thread

»Anyone using PXE here?
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Starfish
Per Ardua Ad Astra
ExMod 2002-04
join:2000-12-28
Netherlands
said by FKrooG2:
The project is not dead just moving slow...

That's a quite accurate description

Ideas enough though.. currently waiting a bit as well to see what BOINC and LTSP version 4.0 will bring. Especially the later will use different configuration techniques.


DSB7
Premium
join:2002-06-25
Cambridge, ON
Whoa, lots of info there. Good to know that work in this area is still proceeding!
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DaBoxx
Winnie Da Pooh

join:2003-09-14
Calgary, AB
reply to DSB7
hey just a quetsion on da blades.
would anyone know if two dually mp boards would be too much for a single PSU? i would also like to get into blade based systems, but dont have da monies. if i did though, they would be diskless, headless, and Linux!

James
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Cajun Man
Let's Do the Zydeco
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Cajun Bayou
said by DaBoxx:
hey just a quetsion on da blades.
would anyone know if two dually mp boards would be too much for a single PSU? i would also like to get into blade based systems, but dont have da monies. if i did though, they would be diskless, headless, and Linux!
I don't know. I would think that it would not be a good idea to use 1 PSU on 2 dually motherboards. But I don't know that for a fact.

My thought is that a dually mb draws more power than a single cpu mb that 2 dual mb might be a bit big drain on the PSU.
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DaBoxx
Winnie Da Pooh

join:2003-09-14
Calgary, AB
datz sorta wat i was tinkin too, if da PSU could provide power 4 all 4 processors and da boards. some of da larger 500-600w supplies maybe?
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