Home cluster finally working
A couple of months ago I decided that one of the approaches I should take to the open-ended CPU requirements of my experiments was to build my own cluster.
I budgeted $1000, and found that I could buy 4 bare-bones machines with reasonable CPUs, minimal RAM and no hard drives, together with a UPS and network switch. I also repurposed an old laptop that was no longer doing very much, meaning that I had one machine with drives to use as a server. Initial attemps at getting these machines booted over ethernet and running diskless failed, so eventually I bought 4 of the cheapest hard drives I could find (taking me just over budget) and finally in the last few days I got them working. The 5 are an openMosix cluster and have now stood up to enough stress testing that it's time to start running real code on them.
1 x Toshiba Satellite laptop with 2GHz Celeron processor, 256Mb RAM, 30Gb hard drive and an 80Gb external drive to back up all of my work, email, address book, calendar and photos.
4 x mongrel machines with 2.8 GHz Celeron D processors, 128Mb RAM and 20Gb hard drives (I couldn't find smaller ones).
Now I can stop being distracted by non-functioning hardware, and get on with the real work. Unless I give in to temptation and buy the kit I'd need to make one of these....