Booting over Fast Ethernet

Miguel A. Mota Jr. Chaos325 at
Sat Oct 5 18:27:00 CEST 2002

Dear Mailing list members,
    I'm Miguel A. Mota Jr., Co-Founder and President of the Woodrow Wilson
High School Science & Technology Club in Camden, New Jersey USA.  With a few
small grants from Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs, we have developed a
parallel-processing Linux Cluster based on openMosix cluster technology.  In
a attempt to make this new technology more useful and efficient, I have
integrated LAM-MPI and PVM into our cluster, giving it certain advantages of
a Beowulf Cluster.  The Nodes boot a custom CD-based mini-Linux distribution
and configure themselves via DHCP, thus making them quite inexpensive and
plug-n-play.  I feel that this mixture of technologies makes cheap and yet
efficient clusters.
    Our cluster is not that advanced in terms of hardware.  Its not much,
but its a modest start for a few minority teenagers in a urban city pushing
for the movement of Open Source software.  Its a star topology Fast Ethernet
TCP switched cluster with 7 nodes.  Here's a few key specs:

    -    Server: AMD 750Mhz Duron w/390MB PC133 SD-RAM
    -    Masternode AMD 750Mhz Duron w/128MB PC133 SD-RAM
    -    Nodes 1&2: Intel 800MHz Celerons w/128MB PC133 SD-RAM
    -    Nodes 3&4: AMD 650MHz Durons w/128MB PC133  SD-RAM
    -    Nodes 5-7: Intel 450MHz Pentiums w/128MB PC133 SD-RAM

    We are currently trying to expand, but Lucent's loses in the stock
market has affected our funding.  So now we are trying to find companies
willing to donate anything down to a 75Mhz PC, but no luck yet.  While
reading the paper, I came across an article on the clusters at Los Alamos.
My understanding is that they booting their kernels from a Server.  I was
wondering if it could be possible to have our Nodes boot an ISO image off
our Server in a similar fashion?  This could allow us to bring the cost of
Nodes down to $100 USD and utilize 486 DX PCs as well.  I appreciate
anyone's responses and thank you for your time.

Miguel A. Mota Jr.
Chaos325 at

More information about the coreboot mailing list