July 23, 2018

Building a Raspberry Pi Cluster

People have been building clusters using the Raspberry Pi family of devices for years now - the first example I came across was “Iridis-pi”, which serves as a demonstrator system for clustered computing and a classic example of how adults will find almost any excuse to play with Lego as part of their day job. In the past, I have built a 4-node cluster using RPi2 devices - within that build, I used the official Raspbian OS and set up the SLURM job scheduler and GlusterFS distributed storage service - both from official repositories. Read more

April 23, 2018


Earlier this year, the XCP-ng project completed a round of crowd-funding to produce a fully open version of XenServer without any paid feature lock-down. This is a project I was pretty excited about; although I had never tried XenServer or any VMWare tools common to enterpriste IT, I was keen to have a more flexible “home lab” setup than the bunch of RPi’s and regular servers I’d accumulated. ProxMox was my first attempt at running a virtualised setup at home, but I hadn’t enjoyed the experience much - I wanted something which would require less tinkering, ideally with a more modern interface. Read more

April 22, 2018


Minio is a simple, S3 compatible object storage server which can be deployed in a Docker container or as a simple binary and provides built-in deduplication over objects. The application design is very much aligned with the in-vogue microservices model - configuration is fairly minimal, and in the simplest case Minio can be launched using just a filesystem path in which the objects are to be stored. Each instance of Minio effectively operates in “single-user” mode, with one access key/secret key pair - in order to offer Minio to multiple users from the same server or cluster, the administrator need only deploy more Minio instances targeting a different directory per user (or “tenant”). Read more

April 22, 2018

Hello, world

This is a place for me to put written content which doesn’t have another home. Mostly, it’ll be technically-focused, perhaps with some commentary on blogs, articles and white papers I’ve written elsewhere.

April 22, 2018

About the author

Chris Downing is a UK-based consultant focused on the high-performance computing (HPC) industry. He hates writing about himself in the third person.

© Chris Downing 2017

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