[Beowulf] 96 Processors Under Your Desktop

Joel Jaeggli joelja at darkwing.uoregon.edu
Wed Sep 1 07:41:18 PDT 2004

On Wed, 1 Sep 2004, John Hearns wrote:

> 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?

In bozeman montana we'd leave the fire-escape proped open in the winter 
to keep the datapoint mainframe and associated equipment cool. in the 
summer however it required massive hvac.

transport, construction, and a lack of desire to live there are generally 
issues when it comes to building facilities in locations where the ambient 
temperature is sufficintly low year around for aircooling something like 
that. backhoeing through and pouring concrete on permafrost adds 
signficantly to the cost of your structure.

>> 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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Joel Jaeggli  	       Unix Consulting 	       joelja at darkwing.uoregon.edu 
GPG Key Fingerprint:     5C6E 0104 BAF0 40B0 5BD3 C38B F000 35AB B67F 56B2

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