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Add a Compute Node

In this guide we will add a dedicated compute node to an existing single-node Stabile installation, so ideally you should have completed this guide.

The idea is of course to scale and be able to run more stuff at the same time – adding more nodes should be trivial, once you have completed the guide successfully.

If your existing administration node has two physical network interfaces (NICs) and the node you are adding also has to NICs, you should connect the secondary NICs on each node in a closed storage network, which will be used as storage network. This will typically require a separate switch.

Below is a simple diagram showing the configuration we want to end up with for the case where both nodes have two NICs. In the on-NIC case, PXE-boot and NFS is over the primary NIC

Objectives

  • Add a compute node to an existing single-node installation

Prerequisites

  • A single-node Stabile installation
  • A x86 workstation or server that can be used as a compute node for your Stabile installation
  • Solid Internet connectivity

Recomendations

  • A storage device or more (preferably a SSD, 256 GB or bigger) 

Warnings

  • When a compute node is PXE-booted in a Stabile environment, Stabile by default expects none or a single storage device attached to the node. If a storage device is found, Stabile will look for partitions. If no configured partitions are found Stabile will try to format the device with ZFS and use it as local node storage. If you do not want Stabile to touch the storage devices on the node you are adding, please disconnect any storage devices before proceeding.

Add a compute node to your Stabile installation

  1. Make sure the compute node’s main network interface is attached to the same physical network as the administration node’s main network interface.
    • IMPORTANT: The two main network interfaces must be connected through a swithching infrastructure which allows all VLAN’s to pass, or at least the VLAN’s your installation is configured to provision (not covered in this guide). The easist way to achieve this is to simply use what is known as a “dumb” switch to connect the two nodes.
  2. If your administration node has two physical network interfaces and your compute node also has two network interfaces, please configure as this:
    • Connect the secondary NIC’s from the two nodes – either directly with a cable, or through a “dumb” switch. The latter is relevant, if you plan to add more compute nodes.
    • The secondary NIC in the administration is used for internal Stabile storage networking.
    • This step is optional, but using a separate network for NFS storage operations increases shared storage speed.
  3. Log in to your Stabile administration node.
  4. Type: sudo apt install stabile-bionic-node
    • This will install the NFS root your compute node will boot from
    • It may take a little while, since the package size is ~512 MB
  5. Type: sudo apt install dpkg-reconfigure stabile
    • This will unpack, configure and make the NFS root available to your Stabile installation
  6. Power on the workstation or server you will be using as a compute node and pres the escape key to enter the BIOS (or whichever key your particular computer requires you to type to enter the BIOS).
  7. Configure your BIOS settings in such a way that the compute node PXE boots from the primary NIC if the compute node has only one NIC and from the secondary NIC if it has two. Also make sure that CPU virtualization is enabled.
  8. Save the BIOS settings and reboot.
  9. Your compute node should PXE boot and join your Stabile intallation.
  10. After your compute node has booted, launch the Stabile Web Client and go to the “Nodes” tab. Verify that your compute node has joined your installation and is “running”.

Configure local storage on your compute node with ZFS

For the following we assume you have exactly one storage device in your compute node (this can of course be a RAID device). If your device did not have any partitions configured, it should already have been formatted and in use by Stabile. If this is the case, go to the “Nodes” tab in the web client UI and verify that your node has non-zero “Free stor”. If your storage device has not been automatically formatted (“Free stor” of zero), proceed with the steps below to configure this device for use as local node storage for images.

  1. Go to the “Nodes” tab in the web client UI
  2. Click on your newly added node and copy the mac address
  3. Go to your engine’s API explorer: https://ip-address-of-your-engine/stabile/api
  4. Click on “Nodes API” and select “Wipe” from the function drop-down
  5. Paste the mac address you just copied into the “mac” field and click “Try it”
  6. Now go back to the “Nodes” tab in the web client UI and verify that your node’s “Free stor” is no longer zero

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