#SC11 T minus 3 days and counting

Ok. Lets call this an absolutely wild ride so far. I mean, its freaking insane. I cannot remember working so hard and so fast.
First off Tiburon, our cluster software package (designed mostly for HPC Storage, and cluster like things) has been an insanely awesome trouper. It just works. And I mean that in a jaw dropping manner. It just freaking works.
Part of it may be due to the simplicity of the thing. I dunno.
New machines. Never set them up in the database. Turned them on. PXE booted. And they were up. I mean, our DeltaV’s, our compute nodes. Just up. Fully loaded. Insanely easy to manage.
And of course, a compute node is not a storage node, so a wee little script executed in the boot process figures out if its a storage node and directs storage nodes to assemble their volumes and export them, while directing compute nodes to do their stuff. Real simple. Works perfectly on pretty much all our units so far.
Yes, it makes setting up storage (and compute) clusters as simple as putting in a new unit, turning it on, and (for the most part) walking away.

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The joys of new tools … and discovering broken/missing functionality within them

The object of my attention this morning is dracut, the replacement for the venerable mkinitrd in the RHEL/Fedora lines.
Dracut has great promise, in that it is being built as a construction kit for initial ramdisk for booting Linux.
Unfortunately, like mkinitrd, it has a number of … er … failures.
Happily it has a concept of an shell you can drop into if things go pear shaped. mkinitrd generates initrd’s that will often simply kernel panic with no way to debug. Dracut lets you debug.
Been playing with it for a while, and now that we are sending machines out with RHEL 6.1, it would be nice to make sure that the initrd/initramfs are built correctly.
This is in part due to the (very) fragile way Linux starts up. And the use of loadable modules for most drivers. Yeah, it makes sense for some things, but … not for everything.

Read moreThe joys of new tools … and discovering broken/missing functionality within them

in SC mode … and trying to ship orders before we fly out … and working on support … and …

I’m gonna need another vacation soon. This is nuts. Got a bunch of machines going out to the UK next week, a set of SSDs off to Sweden, machines to Texas, and California. New orders from the east coast (a number of repeat customers). Oh … and trying to get our demo systems built, and … Read morein SC mode … and trying to ship orders before we fly out … and working on support … and …