Posted by Ken Farmer, Friday July 21 2006 @ 10:40PM EDT
ClusterMonkey.net: It is a common practice to have development and test servers for each production server, so that you can experiment with changes without the fear of breaking anything important, but this is usually not feasible with clusters. So how do you try that new version of your favorite program before committing it to the production cluster? A cheap and convenient possibility is to build a virtual cluster.
Thanks to the Xen virtual machine monitor, you can create a number of virtual machines, all running simultaneously in your computer, install different operating systems in them, or just different configurations, and connect them via (virtual) network cards. Xen is a terrific tool for building virtual Beowulf clusters. It can prove useful when learning or teaching about clusters or for testing new features/software without the fear of causing major damage to an existing cluster.
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