My aim is to build put together a small cluster to get started, and to add more nodes in the future. It needs to be small, portable and possible to run standalone.
1 x Master Node - Raspberry Pi 4 (4Gb)
2 x Worker Nodes - Raspberry Pi 4 (2Gb)
1 x Worker Node - Asus Tinkerboard (2Gb)
DigitSpace have kindly sponsored the three Raspberry Pi boards, along with SD Cards and heat sinks for each one. Without their input I wouldn't have been able to get this project underway.
To network the cluster together I will use a Gigabit network switch. It will enable full advantage of the Pi4 and Tinkerboard's Gigabit ethernet ports.
I am acquiring an 8 port PoE switch next week.
The Master Node will run a desktop environment to allow monitoring and programming of the cluster on-board, without needing an extra machine to connect to the cluster. There will be spare ports on the Network switch to allow more normal removing in, but it'll be useful to be able to make local changes when it's running standalone.
To power the Pis and also keep cabling to a minimum I am going to use PoE.
I have ordered some PoE hats for my Pis to handle it.
The frame will be built from Totem's Maker kit. The beams and brackets allow for great flexibility and mounting. I Have recently reviewed their Mini Lab kit, and have really loved the lab's form factor for working with, so I intend to keep the frame as close to that form factor as I can. At this time of writing I have the screen in place, and I just need to incorporate the switch when I receive it before building the stack to contain the Raspberry Pis.
I am going to look into setting up this device as a Kubernetes cluster running Openfaas. This should enable me to run .NET Core and python applications easily and handle a lot of cluster tasks for me.