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Linux Enterprise Cluster: Build a Highly Available Cluster with Commodity Hardware and Free Software Paperback – May 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1593270360 ISBN-10: 1593270364

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593270364
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270360
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,499,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A nice balance between detailed, hand-holding exposition and getting the concepts you need . . . to extend the recipes into your environment." -- ;login:, February 2006

A remarkably thorough introduction. -- PC Update (Australia), August 2005 (

A seriously practical work which should readily prove its worth within enterprise scenarios. -- Linux User & Developer, August 2005,

I can see a battered copy of it, always lying around the server room. Battered, because it's so frequently referenced. --, July 17, 2005,

If you're serious about designing and implementing a low-cost production cluster using free software, this book's for you. --, August 25, 2005,

If you’re interested in building a cluster at work, and need the motivation, the book is worth it. -- Linux Librarian, July 4, 2005

Not only provides a theoretical background but also a complete detail on how to actually implement [Linux clustering]. -- Readers Preference, June 2005

The writing is excellent, the subject matter wonderful, the level of detail just right for most people. --, August 24, 2005,

This tome explores the key technologies that underpin building real enterprise-level Linux clusters. -- Network World, June 6, 2005

Walks one through projects and pitfalls step-by-step... A ‘must-have’ for anyone interested in harnessing the power of a cluster. -- Midwest Book World, June 2005

About the Author

Karl Kopper has worked with distributed computing environments on many platforms, including Linux, Windows, Macintosh, a wide variety of UNIX platforms, and Tandem mainframes. As a consultant for a private wholesale food distribution company, he worked on the conversion to a new business system – the Linux Enterprise Cluster described in the book – that has worked flawlessly to date. When he’s not building Linux clusters and studying free software projects he enjoys spending time in the garden, growing food with friends and family.

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Customer Reviews

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In this book the author does an excellent job of explaining the purpose of an enterprise cluster and exactly how they work.
Harold McFarland
The Linux Enterprise Cluster is a straightforward guide to building a network of multiple computers that pool their resources to act as one powerful computer.
Midwest Book Review
The whole point of the book is to enable someone, by simply going thru the book chapter by chapter, to build a medium to a large size cluster.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Miles on June 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
You ever find a reference that becomes your best friend - that you can't put down? I looked through three other books on clusters, including Oreilly's... They were all good, but missing the "rubber meets the road" factor.

I have the proverbial "Wall of Oreilly" in my office. But this book wins out for wide clustering.

I needed to deploy a highly-available, fault-tolerant, hi-performance cluster of cheap servers so that I could sleep at night knowing that my web services were live - and would remain that way.

This book met the challenge head-on. Mon, cron, init, Linux Virtual Servers (IPVS/LVS), SNMP, Heartbeat, etc are all covered with a "here's how you do it" approach.

My only problem with the book was that the examples were all for Redhat, which I honestly don't agree stands up to the true intent of Open Source anymore... I think the book should be directed at Debian instead.

Anyway, the book was still great for me as most of the packages used are similar between platforms.

There ARE typos. In fact, I found a few critical ones in code snippets and some confusing ones in the descriptions where it looks like the paragraphs got mixed up, so be sure to look at the snippets with more than a cut&paste attitude. (if the author is looking for edits for another release/update, please contact me - I happen to be a copy editor and a programmer)

IMHO, THIS is the future of linux server computing. Please support more books like this by buying it. Honestly, I might actually look into other books by "No Starch" based on my good experience here.

BTW, this book is devoted to what I consider "WIDE" clustering (LVS/IPVS - processing allot of small computations - focus is on response time) versus other books focused on "DEEP" clustering (Beowulf - processing fewer but more intense computations - focus is on CPU throughput). So if you're looking for the latter, look elsewhere.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
The sheer number of books published in the recent years that cover the Linux Operation System is simply staggering. One aspect of Linux that has been explored recently is its enablement that is gives users that wish to build a clustered environment. Using free software and commodity hardware many organizations small to large, and even end-users such as myself, have been able to build a cluster or a Grid using Linux very cheaply. This book by Karl Koppers shows the readers a step-by-step guide of how to go about building an enterprise grade Linux cluster environment. The author depicts each step one by one for the reader and demonstrates what each step does and why "we do what do we".

The following steps required for building a cluster are explored in detail in this book:

* Understanding of the underlying Linux routing (NetFilter and basic packet routing)

* Understanding of SystemImager program, and how it can help you in building a large cluster

* Learning of to apply configuration changes to your cluster efficiently

* Learn to build a Linux Virtual Server Network Address Translation fro your cluster, and learn why you need such capability

* Learn how to manage failures in your cluster including software and hardware failures

* Learn how to manage and monitor your cluster from a single point using a Web-based GUI

* Learn how to apply software patches and updates to your cluster

* Administrator user accounts and remote login including password-less login via SSH

* Learn how to install a cluster print server

* Learn how to install a batch-job scheduling system on your cluster

As you can see, there are lots covered in this book.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yoshiro Aoki on September 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Clusters, like many things, come in various flavors. These can be roughly stated as `high throughput', `high performance (HPC)', and `high availability'. The "Linux Enterprise Cluster" is a good read for those looking for the `high-availability' cluster flavor, for perhaps a mission-critical computing resource. There is thus more emphasis on fail-over and service request handling than, for example, MPI, exacting operation calculations, and HSI maximizing techniques typical of HPC endeavors. This is not to say this book is not applicable to the other cluster types. Could you do with a chapter on SystemImager? How about Ganglia? Rsync & SSH? Building a kernel? All this step-by-step? Awesome! I was building an HPC cluster at the time, and found this a good book for drilling into deeper cluster software infrastructure details while at the park or waiting for a class to start. It was however sparse on hardware details and proper supporting infrastructure, but no book under 10 pounds is going to cover everything so be prepared to read a lot. I did not evaluate the included CD-ROM, which is loaded with goodies, because I simply downloaded the packages from the Internet as needed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
The book offers practical advice in putting together the hardware of several linux machines. Such that you end up with one big and robust computer. The attraction is price. The machines use commodity hardware and linux is free. As opposed to an expensive monolithic computer.

The book's audience appears to be a sysadmin or network designer. Very details oriented. Much attention is given to system utilities that you will need to monitor this network that is the cluster. A big benefit of the book is in simply educating you as to what utilities have already been written under linux, to support clusters.

The clustering described in the book does not seem to encompass mentioning Beowulf clusters. The latter is an alternative approach that has seen some adoption in scientific circles. I'm guessing that from what the book describes of a linux enterprise cluster, that the omission might be because linux now has the equivalent capability.
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