[Beowulf] 96 Processors Under Your Desktop

John Hearns john.hearns at clustervision.com
Wed Sep 1 00:12:48 PDT 2004

On Tue, 2004-08-31 at 22:49, Jim Lux wrote:

> Depends on where you are and what the incremental kWh rate is.
> There was some discussion a while back on the list of what the electricity
> cost to move heat is.. maybe 10-20% of the heat you're moving?  That is, it
> takes 200W to move a kilowatt of dissipation out of the room.
I seem to recall proposals to build large computing facilities in the
Arctic? Just leave the doors open for cooling, and cheap hydro generated
power. Can anyone else remember this?

> The real value (to my mind) is making a cluster a minimal-hassle item, the
> same way a desktop PC is perceived today....
You make a well-argues point.
Then again, that was the original Beowulf concept - use COTS components.

> I'd venture to say that nobody installs clusters like this yet...
> (obviously, Orion is aiming to).. No, you spend a few weeks or months
> researching combinations of mobos and peripherals 
Again well argued, and as someone who cares and feeds clusters for a
living I know about the issues with floor loading, power feeds. A/C.

> On Monday, you determine that you have a problem requiring the crunch of,
> say, 5-10 processors, and you scrounge up a budget of, say, $10-20K to do
> it.
> On Friday, you are computing on your new cluster, having spent perhaps 4
> hours of your time getting the cluster ordered and installed.
Again yes. I think we've kicked about ideas of using VIA boards before.

The flip side of this 'order on Monday' concept is Grid computing and
adaptive computing. Class, discuss.

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