[Beowulf] Opteron/Athlon Clustering

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Sat Jun 5 15:14:48 PDT 2004

On Fri, 4 Jun 2004, Jonathan Michael Nowacki wrote:

>   A couple of questions.  Is it possible to have a cluster of Athlons and
> a cluster of Opterons and use them as a whole for 32 bit computing and use
> the Opterons separately for 64 bit computing?  We currently are using 37
> Athlons running Rocks(Linux) and PBS (Portable Batch Systems), and are
> currently looking into buying a cluster of Opterons.

In principle yes, but see the recent list archives for discussion of
library issues -- you have to install a spanning set of 32 bit libraries
in addition to the default 64 bit libraries and maybe some more stuff.
Also, they will likely run code at different speeds, so load balancing a
job distributed on the two architectures may be tricky, although for
batch style computing that may not matter.

> Also, the people I work for are very wary about buying anything from
> anybody but big name companies like Dell, Compaq/HP, SGI, and IBM.  They
> are worried about total cost of ownership if something breaks.  The only
> problem is none of these companies sells rack-mount Opterons.  What is a
> good company to buy rack-mount (dual and quad) Opterons from?

Penguin sold me mine; so far they have proven pretty good.  I've got
them all solidly loaded right now.  I think that there are a bunch of
companies, many of them (like penguin) very much linux-centric, that
sell rackmount dual opterons.


>   Thank you for your help,
>         Jonathan M Nowacki
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Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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