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I have about four or five machines in the Pentium 3-4 era and I'm interested in creating a Linux server comprised of these machines. The server's main purposes would be to host several low-medium traffic websites/services (voice and game), and share terabytes of data on a local network.

I could probably throw together one modern computer as a server and call it a day, but I'm interested in using these machines to do it instead. Where would I get started in this cluster/cloud setup?

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Simple load-balancing would suffice for static web content. If you have session-oriented traffic (shopping cart, games, maybe others), then you either need to keep sessions sticky, or provide for sessions to migrate between servers in the cluster.

Start looking into load balancing, and find out more about your specific applications.

BTW - I wouldn't call this a cloud. Parts of it will probably be a web-farm. "Cluster" usually refers to failover, unless you're doing HPC (high performance computing.) You might want to spend some time reviewing the nomenclature, even if this is just hobbyist work.

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As mfinni user pointed out, for serving web pages (or doing other server things like DB, DNS, etc.) a simple cluster with load balancing and replication would be enough.

However, if you really want all your computers to act together as a single big computer, you want to do something called Single System Image (SSI): a cluster of machines that work like one single machine.

For Linux I only know LinuxPMI (previously known as OpenMosix), OpenSSI, Kerrighed and ScaleMP (this last one is not open source). I have never used any of them, I only know them because I have always been interested in this kind of "reverse virtualization" (or "virtualization for aggregation" as ScaleMP call it).

Hope this helps and good luck.

Regards, MV

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