I have just set up my disk-less compute servers yesterday. These compute servers were configured to boot from the network, pick up the operating system from a network server and save all their files on a network file-system. I was surprisingly easy to set up from a Debian base system. I am really glad that I have so many spare machines to toy around with.
I plan to put in a couple of verilog simulators. I wonder if distcc could be modified to accommodate these simulators as well. I will experiment with this and report my findings later.
So, these compute servers will boot up and run distcc that I mentioned earlier. I did not need to do much except to configure dd-wrt to provide the
dhcp-boot option. It was just as simple configuring freenas to provide the necessary storage and network service. First time I got to fool around with PXE – fun!
Now that I have a number of machines, I need a way to keep administer and track them all. For administration, I am currently testing out dish, dsh, clusterssh, pssh and kanif distributed shells. There are advantages and disadvantages of each and I kind of think that Kanif (from INRIA) is more suitable for my use.
As for tracking them all, I have actually just set up a wiki on my local home network. I plan to use the wiki to not just track the servers but to document everything I do at home. This includes any sort of configuration and customisations that I perform on the home network so that I have a easy place to refer to in the future, in case I need to replicate the work at any time.
You know what I’ve started to realise? Computing takes on a whole new dimension when you have a dozen machines running on a home network. There is just so much more that can be done with that power of computing.