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clustering and hypervisors


bow2me26
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Im completely new to the subject and would like some help . I would like to create a high performance cluster running several virtual machines over with a low lvl hypervisor . But I dont know where to start so can someone please give me some information on some good software and tools preferably open source . Ive seen articles on other types of clustering but not anything to do with high performance clusters used with virtual machines . So please any information or tools would be helpful . Thanks for any assistance

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I can run many VM's at the same time, but VM's clustered on the same HDD, will be a bottleneck. If you had a server rack, with ESXi setup and clustered VM's that each had their own set of raid disks, you'd see better performance. I'd say, setup your cluster in VM's to learn how to do it, but you'll see real results, with real hardware, fiber channel and raid setups over server type hardware configurations.

Now, if its GPU clustering, well, thats a whole other topic, and yes, you could build a beast of a machine for crunching data, but your data must be written in OpenCL or one of the compatible GPU processing languages, such as those used for password cracking or video rendering for special effects.

Real hardware clusters, with high speed interlinks, high speed drives, and fastest hardware, will get you results. 20 VM's in a home workstation on say, one HDD, will do shit for what you want other than learning how to configure a networked cluster, which in itself is good, but not for crunching data. Make sense?

Cloud computing, in many cases, are usually virtual machines, but hundreds linked in server farms. Unless you have that kind of cash and home setup, don't expect VM clustering at home to deliver anything more than a single machine would at best. You'd be better served rewriting whatever tool or program you are using, to multi thread, or run against the GPU with a few high end graphic cards, which seems to be the way most things are starting to go these days for data crunching anyway, and is more cost effective.

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Ok now i am confused 1 if you is saying it wouldnt do any better then a single machine could do running virtual machines and the other sounds like it can be done . If it can be done do you have any good software packages and documentation on the subject I can look at .

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Ok now i am confused 1 if you is saying it wouldnt do any better then a single machine could do running virtual machines and the other sounds like it can be done . If it can be done do you have any good software packages and documentation on the subject I can look at .

We're both pretty much saying it won't do better than one machine, IF its all on the same machine and HDD. Make sense? If its a server farm, and each Vm has its own set of disks, nics, and interlinks and so forth, then yes, Vm clustering would be fine and totally works. Also, the OS used, has to be setup for clustering, or one designed as such in most cases, but there are software clusters that allow multiple machines to do clustering on the software side where OS is independent so long as they all run the same program, like the folding at home project.

Best advice I can give for building a cluster, is look at projects other people have done.

Here is one using native hardware in an old ikea cabinet - http://helmer.sfe.se/

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its all still kinda confusing I dont see how adding more processing power wouldnt speed them up . Honestly the main reason i wanted to do this project was so i can have more virtual machines to play with at once . And also to try and be able to use a virtual machine that can actually play a high end game . Because my normal machine bogs down bad if i try and play any kind of high end game from within a virtual machine . I have been using virtual box as my tool for virtual machines if that makes any difference . Thanks for all your help tho . I get what your saying tho about the hds and stuff tho . Id just like to be able to have several vms and use them just as well as machines thats straight on the hardware itself . Without the slow down .

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My desktop for example, has a high end GPU, Hexacore 3.2GHZ CPU with 16BG of Ram. I can play Doom, Quake, Warsow and some other low level games in VM's with no issues. I can't however, run something like Battlefield 3 in a VM. Works fine on my machine,just not in a VM due to the resources required.

Server clustering in general, is for several things though, such as redundancy, fail over, file availability, and crunching data, but a VM on one machine or multiple VM's on one machine are still sharing the ONE machines CPU, so its not going to do you any good, nor will games "cluster" if thats what you are after with a single workstation. Each VM, is still using the host machines main CPU, no matter what you are doing. You want server farm type speed and such for gaming, you're going about it in the wrong way. You build a dedicated box, with high end hardware and GPU meant for gaming, and not to be running games in the VM.

Game servers for multiplayer games, sure, server farms(were talking more than one server, or rack with high end server hardware and throughput, not a single workstation) could easily be setup with VM's as all the hosts, but even games like COD and BF3, require their own data centers or rented high end setups to support the 64 player multiplayer games, so I think you have things a little mixed up on what a cluster is and what its going to be able to do to help you. Its certainly not going to speed up your gaming capabilities unless you're hosting multilayer lans and are the main host that servers the games, but even then, you'd need a rack, not some single home box.

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You keep talking about using rack systems and stuff like that but honestly whats the major difference in using systems built that way and using several workstations combined in a cluster ? I mean i know they have more slots for stuff like network ports and stuff like that but other then that whats the real difference that allows them to perform better then normal systems tied together in a cluster can ?

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You keep talking about using rack systems and stuff like that but honestly whats the major difference in using systems built that way and using several workstations combined in a cluster ? I mean i know they have more slots for stuff like network ports and stuff like that but other then that whats the real difference that allows them to perform better then normal systems tied together in a cluster can ?

Maybe we misunderstood your question. You made it seem as if this was all running under one workstation. If you have several workstations with high end hardware, go native installed clustering, unless you have server end hardware and throughput, then use VM's in a server farm setup, like rack systems with high I/O and disk throughput as well as network throughput.

And also to try and be able to use a virtual machine that can actually play a high end game

This though, should be something done on bare metal, native installs. For serving people connecting to you as a central game server in a server farm, it would be fine, but for single player, to play as yourself, build a high end gaming rig for gaming, not for clustering a single player game.
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im not sure how all this works so im not sure if the idea would even work or not. But i was thinking something along the line of setting up multiple machines up in a cluster and for example if i need a high capacity file system for lets say vms i could add several hds to a few of the workstations . And if I need fast processing power i could add several powerful processors and graphics cards to others . And have them all tied together over a high performance cluster network . Wouldnt that be pretty much the same thing as the server setups you would buy . I mean ive seen stuff for file servers with tons of hd and others with tons of processing power and others with networking and so forth . So wouldnt that be pretty much the same thing ?

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I mean im talking about a high performance cluster which should pull all the hardware resources together to act as one . And not a high availability cluster here where it would just act as normal machines and do load balancing and machine swaps if 1 dies.

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I mean in theory id think once the cluster is built i should be able to just divide up the resources of all the systems up among the different vms however i want like how you can divide how much memory and processors you want to use per machine on a normal 1 system set up

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For something like gaming, unless its the Central Game Server you connect to, your game isn't designed(as far as I know) to work over a cluster and I think if anything, it wouldn't work. For general data crunching and things designed to run over clusters, then yes, I think you'd be fine setting up several workstations with multiple VM's that each have dedicated I/O, HDD, and NIC's then you might have something of your own little cluster but what you'd run on it, I don't know, because I never heard of a single player game that ran on a cluster. You'd be better off with a few high end SSD's in RAID configuration, High end CPU and GPU with ton of ram for a monster gaming rig, which if gaming for yourself is what you are after, that would be your best bet.

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ahh i see what your saying i think . So the cluster idea would work as for power wise however the program itself is most likely created to run on a single machine so it wouldnt work well over a cluster because it isnt mpi compatible . Because theyre generally made for single systems . So it would have to be modified to run over cluster software . Or each gameing system i want set up would need to be on its own dedicated system .

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I wonder if that means that places like onlive uses a dedicated machine for every single game in theyre set up that you connect to once u choose ur game pick out of theyre list . And then uses something like a vnc connect to theyre dedicated system but modified to only allow u access to the game itself instead of the rest of the system stuff .

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I wonder if that means that places like onlive uses a dedicated machine for every single game in theyre set up that you connect to once u choose ur game pick out of theyre list . And then uses something like a vnc connect to theyre dedicated system but modified to only allow u access to the game itself instead of the rest of the system stuff .

Pretty sure they're using some kind of propitiatory vm system. There's no way they could host that many physical machines. This is a WAG though.

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