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What are the requirements of a Linux cluster?

We're looking at putting our storage on a Linux cluster, but I've heard from some vendors that managing a Linux cluster can be challenging. (Of course, the vendors want to sell us their management products?) What are the management challenges involved in running a Linux cluster in a heterogeneous enterprise environment? Are there free open source tools we can use to handle those challenges?

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Clusters require hardware-independent, commercially supported solutions for Linux cluster management. The software needs to be able to integrate with and complement existing Linux solutions to provide a comprehensive solution with workload management, system monitoring and administration, and provisioning (installation and configuration) capabilities.

You will need workload management software, resource management software, and server provisioning capabilities -– an end-to-end solution combining system monitoring and administration, load balancing, high availability, job scheduling and remote Web access to manage distributed workload processing across the whole cluster.

This was first published in March 2004

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