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I'm new to networking and new to this forum so excuse me if I have chosen the wrong place to ask this question.

However, I was wanting to build my first Linux Cluster using Rocks. I was wondering if it is possible to build a private network between the nodes in my cluster using only a network switch or if I need other hardware.

What should I do to build the cluster?

  • What are you building a private network for? – user10014 Oct 23 '14 at 1:22
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all you need is a switch to connect all the nodes in the cluster together. this switch must have VLANs created if you will also have other devices on the switch.

If, for example, you have 3 nodes; a front end and 2 compute nodes. You connect the front end nodes first NIC to the switch and connect the compute nodes to the switch also. This will give them all physical connectivity. Your front end node should give all other nodes their IP address's to complete the connection. I have never used Rocks Cluster before so I could be wrong on the IP addressing.

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I decided to steer clear of Rocks after learning that setting up this private network is fairly easy, especially in Linux.

I used Fedora 20 and an unmanaged 5-port ethernet switch. I connected all nodes to this switch, via ethernet of course, and went to the WiFi settings, which is the network settings window in Fedora.

Here I went to the wired connection and changed the IPv4 IP address and Subnet to 1.1.1.x and 255.255.255.0, respectively. x here is a counter which is incremented for each node in the cluster, so I have address 1.1.1.1, 1.1.1.2, etc. Of course if you're making your own cluster any address will do, for most intents and purposes.

This is most of the work. However, I was having trouble connecting to this private network. I found this is because it was trying to do things with the IPv6 address information. So i turned this off and the computer connected right away.

From here I wrote some "Hello World" OpenMPI programs and ran them. This required a machine/host file and credential-free SSH connections, but these are issues for other threads.

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