[lustre-discuss] Do I need Lustre?

Patrick Farrell paf at cray.com
Fri Apr 27 19:25:07 PDT 2018

One factor is probably budget - Lustre is probably a higher budget option, in terms of hardware and time investment.  I would guess at the 6-8 node range you probably don't need its speed, though you might need at least one other trick it has:

One thing Lustre gives that NFS does not is the ability for multiple nodes to write to the same file in parallel while maintaining consistency.  It's a clustered/parallel file system, not just a network file system.  Some codes require this if you want to run them across multiple nodes.

You might start by setting up whatever seems "easy" to you, probably an NFS share of a storage appliance you've already got, and then see what happens.  If users are happy and you don't seem to be spending a lot of time doing I/O, then you're probably OK.  If not, Lustre is more work, but you do get something for your labors. :)

From: lustre-discuss <lustre-discuss-bounces at lists.lustre.org> on behalf of Brett Lee <brettlee.lustre at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2018 8:11:21 PM
To: lustre-discuss at lists.lustre.org
Subject: Re: [lustre-discuss] Do I need Lustre?

Hi Neil,

One of the considerations in using Lustre should be the I/O patterns of your applications.  Lustre excels with large, sequential reads and writes.

Another are the costs, to include hardware, software, support, and coming up to speed with Lustre.  These components interact.  For example, having professional support helps with coming up to speed on Lustre. :)

Hey Michael!

On Fri, Apr 27, 2018, 12:22 PM Hebenstreit, Michael <michael.hebenstreit at intel.com<mailto:michael.hebenstreit at intel.com>> wrote:

You can do a simple test. Run a small sample of you application directly out of /dev/shm (the ram-disk). Then run it from the NFS file server. If you measure significant speedups your application is I/O sensitive and a Lustre configured with OPA or other InfiniBand solution will help.

From: lustre-discuss [mailto:lustre-discuss-bounces at lists.lustre.org<mailto:lustre-discuss-bounces at lists.lustre.org>] On Behalf Of Thackeray, Neil L
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2018 11:08 AM
To: lustre-discuss at lists.lustre.org<mailto:lustre-discuss at lists.lustre.org>
Subject: [lustre-discuss] Do I need Lustre?

I’m new to the cluster realm, so I’m hoping for some good advice. We are starting up a new cluster, and I’ve noticed that lustre seems to be used widely in datacenters. The thing is I’m not sure the scale of our cluster will need it.

We are planning a small cluster, starting with 6 -8 nodes with 2 GPUs per node. They will be used for Deep Learning, MRI data processing, and Matlab among other things. With the size of the cluster we figure that 10Gb networking will be sufficient. We aren’t going to allow persistent storage on the cluster. Users will just upload and download data. I’m mostly concerned about I/O speeds. I don’t know if NFS would be fast enough to handle the data.

We are hoping that the cluster will grow over time. We are already talking about buying more nodes next fiscal year.


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