[SATLUG] Home Cloud?

Frank Huddleston fhuddles at gmail.com
Sat Jan 9 13:41:49 CST 2010


   Thanks to all who offered information about my "Home Cloud" question. 
I've looked over a few of those references, and found some very 
interesting information:
Eucalyptus looks promising, although it seems to be just Ubuntu for now, 
the Beowulf clustering looks more special-purpose computational, and I 
found the FAWN (Fast Array of Wimpy Nodes) concept very interesting,
although it looked as though it also was intended for a rather specific 
purpose: lots of small queries. It would take me a long time to give 
them each the consideration they require, so I thought I'd respond 
before the thread goes completely cold.

   Jeremy's question about what I'm trying to do is a good one: 
basically, I'm trying to figure out a flexible way to use a collection 
of computers, which I referred to as an "Elephant Graveyard". By this I 
mean that it would be nice to just throw an extra PC into the mix and be 
able to use it with a minimum of configuration. I assume that a number 
of you have this same situation of having accumulated a number of older 
computers: do you replicate the configuration information on each of 
them? Same user ids, passwords, directory shares, host tables: all that 
stuff that NIS (once called Yellow Pages) was designed to handle. I 
admit it's probaly easier to do the individual configuration, even in 
the home elephant graveyard. But it's not as interesting, or as elegant.
So that's the basic what-I-want-to-do schenario. I've got a Mac G4/400 
PowerMac running OSX 10.3, a Dell PII running NetBSD 5.0, a homebuilt PC 
running Ubuntu Studio,
an IBM T20 ThinkPad running Debian, a Dell PIII Running Windows XP, and 
my main platform, a G4 PowerBook running OSX 10.4. I just got a donated 
PIV, on which I'm thinking of putting NetBSD with Xen, but who knows if 
or when I'll get to that. I use NFS for directory sharing: I haven't 
really done anything with the Windows box since I got it. Most of these 
computers are shut down or in various states of dormancy or hibernation 
when I'm not using them.
So that's my immediate situation: the lower end of the practical part of 
my cloud question is a common configuration, perhaps what some of the 
directory services provide.
But I wanted to make the question a little more open than that: I wanted 
to provoke some discussion of how computers might be yoked and used 
together in our home settings. I realize this risks subject distortion 
in the replies, and would happily launch new threads, but I need an 
overview to see where the discussion will go.
So I'll leave it at that for now and pick up with another thread when I 
think it's appropriate. For now, can you folks tell me:

How do you handle the configuration of your own collection of computers? 
Do you just make sure that you replicate the information? Do you use 
some kind of directory service, and if so, what?
I'll leave the cloud-in-the-home (and sky) stuff for later...


Frank H.

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