Category Archives: cluster

Poor man’s cluster

This part might just be me cargo-culting, but I feel like every research operation needs a compute cluster. Any self-respecting quant should be able expand their computational needs to fill an arbitrarily large number of servers. The cluster I’ve just built is a low-budget clunker, made of a motley bunch of leftover and refurbished servers, linked together with parts off eBay. But I’m very proud of it!

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Reviews of distributed filesystems

I have a lot of data to work with, and I want to do it with just my mismatched bunch of servers, desktops, SSDs, and spinning disks. My equipment is old, so I want a filesystem that is robust not only to the failure of any drive, but also to the failure of any one machine. My preference is to build a hyper-converged system, where each machine hosts data in addition to working on compute jobs. Following are reviews I found on the main open-source distributed filesystems out there:

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Securing a research VLAN on a retail router with DD-WRT

I’m building a lean research operation, and I don’t really have need of a high-end firewall, along with the associated licensing costs. So, I’ve decided to try firmware-modding a retail router. I’m hoping it will be an inexpensive way to increase security and get a few more features than a typical WiFi router.

After a bit of reading, I settled on the Netgear Nighthawk R7000, partly because it was in stock at Walmart. Right on the box, it promotes a firmware-modding website run by Netgear. It is compatible with DD-WRT, which has some nice features.

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