an Internet cluster

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introduction

This web site is all about Internet clusters: the sets of computers that run big web sites around the world.

I wrote these pages to describe what an Internet cluster is, what it does, how you build one, why on earth you would want to, and where you would put it. This web site has instructions for building your own cluster from FOSS (Free and Open Source Software), a box of computer scraps, sticky tape and string. It even describes how to convert your garden shed into a one-rack micro-data center - a one-horse town for your Internet cluster to live in. Everything is explained with examples, references and short words.

what it is

I built this site because I built my own Internet cluster and called it the LIC (Larg's internet Cluster). It was so complicated I ended up holding a lot of knowledge in my head, which is a pretty hostile environment for knowledge to do well. I moved the knowledge from my head to this site.

I have built quite a few Internet clusters, such as my car-size cluster (why car-size? Because it fits in my car). Building this kind of infrastructure is my day job. I am Larg and I am an Internet engineer. I've been sticking bits onto the Internet for centuries.

It's cheap to build a cluster. You don't need expensive new computers to get good results. Look at these photos - computers from the age of steam! Look at those monitors - they are CRT!

LIC topography: Larg's Internet Clusters
car-size cluster truck-size cluster scooter-size cluster
car-size cluster truck-size cluster scooter-size cluster

This web site is a bit like a book in that it is organized into a series of chapters. if you want to build a cluster, read the build a car-size cluster chapter. If you want a "howto" recipe, search the support cookbook.

The first section of the LIC web site introduces you to the world the LIC fits into. It's pretty much all theory. I am talking about the big picture, not the the fine details like which computers to buy or what software to install. That comes later.