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Partition repositories for partition cloning OS independent software maintenance in large clusters of PCs

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3 Author(s)
Rauch, F. ; Lab. for Comput. Syst., Swiss Federal Inst. of Technol., Zurich, Switzerland ; Kurmann, C. ; Stricker, T.M.

As a novel approach to software maintenance in large clusters of PCs requiring multiple OS installations we implemented partition cloning and partition repositories as well as a set of OS independent tools for software maintenance using entire partitions, thus providing a clean abstraction of all operating system configuration states. We identify the evolution of software installations (different releases) and the customization of installed systems (different machines) as two orthogonal axes. Using this analysis we devise partition repositories as an efficient, incremental storage scheme to maintain all necessary partition images for versatile, large clusters of PCs. We evaluate our approach with a release history of sample images used in the Patagonia multi-purpose clusters at ETH Zurich including several Linux, Windows NT and Oberon images. The study includes quantitative data that shows the viability of the OS independent approach of working with entire partitions and investigates some relevant tradeoffs: e.g., between difference granularity and compression block size

Published in:

Cluster Computing, 2000. Proceedings. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

2000