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Linux Kongress 1999 - Building a MOSIX Cluster

By Lior Amar & Ariel Rosenblatt

MOSIX is a software tool for supporting cluster computing. It consists of kernel-level, adaptive resource sharing algorithms that are geared for high performance, overhead-free scalability and ease-of-use of a scalable computing cluster. The core of the MOSIX technology is the capability of multiple workstations and servers (nodes) to work cooperatively as if part of a single system. The algorithms of MOSIX are designed to respond to variations in the resource usage among the nodes by migrating processes from one node to another, preemptively and transparently, for load-balancing and to prevent memory depletion at any node. MOSIX is scalable and it attempts to improve the overall performance by dynamic distribution and redistribution of the workload and the resources among the nodes of a computing-cluster of any size. MOSIX conveniently supports a multi-user time-sharing environment for the execution of both sequential and parallel tasks. So far MOSIX was developed 7 times, for different versions of Unix, BSD and most recently for Linux.

CLiP (CLuster installation Package) is a software package written by the above Authors. CLiP aims to ease the installation and maintenance of Computer Clusters. Installing several machines in a cluster can be tedious and time consuming. CLiP was developed to overcome those problems.

CLiP uses the Linux kernel NFS-root capabilities and IP kernel Level autoconfiguration. Installing a new machine in the cluster is simplified to defining the machine to be added and then booting it up. This process is completely automatic and is applied even to a virgin computer, without the need of any preparation on the machine to be installed.

We will demonstrate how to Install MOSIX, giving several Demos of MOSIX in action. MOSIX will be installed on top of an existent Linux Installation, showing how easy is adding MOSIX to your currently working Linux system.

The MOSIX cluster will be installed using CLiP, we'll show how CLiP can be used to add/remove machines and reconfigure the entire cluster.

The Authors:

Lior Amar and Ariel Rosenblatt are currently graduate students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel (HUJI). They are developers at the Distributed Operating System Lab (MOSIX lab) working on MOSIX, the CLiP project and their thesis.

Lior and Ariel are enthusiasts Linux users, with experience managing large heterogeneous system environments including Linux, like The HUJI CS Computer System.


Last modified: Thu Sep 16 14:50:31 CEST 1999