UWMLSC > Beowulf Systems > Medusa


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The design pages describe the way that hardware and software is installed and configured on the medusa beowulf. Please read them carefully as abide by them. It will be a lot easier to manage 300 machines if they are configured in a sane, sensible way.

Please remember the following points before doing anything as root:

  1. Please read and understand the entrire contents of the design before attempting to do any administration on the medusa beowulf. If you have not read all the design pages, you are not qualified to use the superuser account on the medusa beowulf.

  2. Do not try and kludge things. Do it properly. It might be OK on your own laptop, but not on a system with multiple users pulling in different directions.

  3. If you do not understand the way that something is set up, ask the person who set it up. Do not try and guess. If it has not been documented on the web page, ask the person who set it up to add documentation.


The operating system on the medusa beowulf is essentially Red Hat 7.3. We have installed all relevant security patches and updates from Red Hat. We have also updated the kernel to the latest 2.4 kernel available at the time of installation.

The above configuration is performed in the master and slave kickstart script. Refer to this script and the comps file used in the kickstart process for an up to date list of software version numbers on the slaves and masters.

Related Links and Fast Local Mirrors


The system is centered arount the internal FastIron switch. 300 nodes are designated as slaves and connected to this switch. Two nodes are designated as masters and are connected to the switch and the external physics department subnet. A further node is designated as dataserver and is connected to the internal switch and the physics department subnet. The machine called uwmlsc is the groups RAID based file server and is connected both to the outside world and the internal network.

The slave nodes are Pentium III machines from ACE computer. The bid specifcation gives the exact specifications for these machines. These machines are connected by their internal 100baseT ethernet connector to the switch.

Currently the two masters and dataserver are regular nodes with two Netgear GA-620T 1000baseT ethernet cards. They may be upgraded to faster machines in the future.

uwmlsc is a RAID 5 based file server connected via gigabit to the internal ane external subnets.

A PDF diagram of the network topology for the medusa beowulf is available. This should be followed during construction of the system.

The IP address page gives complete details of the networking configuration.

$Id: introduction.html,v 1.2 2003/01/07 00:14:32 kflasch Exp $

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