[SATLUG] Home Cloud?

Robert Pearson e2eiod at gmail.com
Sat Jan 9 22:12:56 CST 2010

On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 1:41 PM, Frank Huddleston <fhuddles at gmail.com> wrote:
> Greetings,
>  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.

The best thing I ever saw for creating a "Home" cluster was openMosix.
It is no longer available from a reliable source.
A Home "cluster" is not a "cloud" nor is it a prerequisite for it.
There are some functional similarities at the hardware level for
access, Configuration Management and maintenance but they are changing
rapidly every day.
Jeremy reported putting one of these together several years ago on
this mailing list. Really piqued my interest. Got way over my head
technically very quickly and abandoned the project. Required lots of
source code compiling and custom kernels.

>  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:

You need to have a good idea what you want to accomplish. As a hobby
or learning experience a "cloud" would be much more powerful than a

> 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...

I run a manual Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Configuration Management. Some
things have been automated but I only have 4 machines and no real
serious computing needs. Basically Web browsing and email. Most of
what I do I can do with KDE Konquerer (or Windows Explorer) and ssh. I
use rsync over ssh. Kind of boring for the technically inclined.
Your first email got my attention because I believe it is possible to
scale a "cloud" into the SOHO. Probably requires more technical skills
than I possess.
Thanks for bringing it up and Good Luck. I look forward to reading of
your progress on the list.

> Thanks,
> Frank H.

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