Cooler weather can mean only one thing: the return of the Crate Farm!
After much putzing around, I've gotten the beginnings of Diskless Crate Farm Mark II up and running. That's a diskless Athlon64 2800+ dedicated F@h node in the above pic. The server is already running stashed away in the crawlspace.
I decided to start over from scratch, using more current software (LTSP 4.1.1 running on Fedora Core 4, instead of LTSP 3.x on Redhat 9). I'm also completely redoing the motherboard mounting as well, using a slightly different arrangement (though milk crates will still be used). While getting LTSP set up for folding is still a bit of a pain, it was better than the first time; and adding more nodes should be a piece of cake (just a few extra lines in the dhcpd.conf file for each node, and we should be good to go).
Unlike prior versions of LTSP, ssh (secure shell) is now used instead of rsh to remotely launch commands on the diskless nodes. This, and the need to get the NIS service properly configured, were probably the two biggest sources of confusion. Running an interactive
remote shell does not seem to work properly with this new approach; fortunately, the ability ro run an interactive shell on the diskless nodes isn't really required. Since all of the files reside on the LTSP server anyway, the Folding@home client can be configured from there.
Many of you probably recall the Crate Farm Mark I
, a rather unwieldy mess with 4 motherboards strapped into a crate and a pile of ATX PSUs sitting around it on the floor. The plan for the new farm is to have 2 nodes, with
their associated PSUs mounted in each crate, to keep things neater. I'll be using compact Micro-ATX PSUs (like the one pictured running the A64). Packing the motherboards less densely should also eliminate the need for the extra fans blowing on the crate.
I also intend to work on some better scripts for managing the farm. I'll post additional details at some point... maybe even that full-blown article I've been talking about doing for over a year.
I will not
relinquish my place in the TR Top 20 without a fight!
Cheers... and fold on, everyone!
The years just pass like trains. I wave, but they don't slow down.
-- Steven Wilson