[Beowulf] Win64 Clusters!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Mon Apr 2 11:58:13 PDT 2007

On Mon, 2 Apr 2007, Douglas Eadline wrote:

> ".. a collection of personal computers interconnected
>  by widely available networking technology running anyone of several
>  open source Unix-like operating systems. "
> I would not want to see it usurped by other clustering efforts.
> I believe that if we do not protect against revisionist history, then
> all of a sudden WCCS is now "Beowulf" computing. Such things, in my
> opinion dis-honor all the people (who I respect) that have contributed
> to this community. To me it is almost akin to removing author credit
> in open source software.

I second the motion.  I should point out that this link:


Which has been there since Kragen Sitaker put it there back in oh, maybe
1997 or so, and he put it there directly from the original beowulf.org
project description.

There are good reasons for this to be part of the definition, as well.
The Windows cluster is very likely not a >>beowulf<< for a variety of
reasons, not just one.  It is a form of cluster in a box, but the
cluster it makes up seems very likely to be more suited for gridware
than "real parallel code", in particular development code.  The latter
is where having an open source operating system and programming
environment becomse so crucial.  I can remember any number of times on
this list (doubtless preserved in the archives somewhere) where serious
problems with various aspects of the network were revealed and
(eventually) repaired BECAUSE everything -- kernel, drivers, and
application -- were open source.

Try doing that with Microsoft's product.  Ha.

> A short aside. I overheard a conversation at SC-2000 about
> the origin of Beowulf from a MS representative "Beowulf
> was a copy of the Microsoft Wolfpack software. They chose
> that name so it would seem like Wolfpack some how".
> Truth is a slippery fish.

In the hands of lying bastards it is.  But Hitler fully understood the
pervasive nature of the big lie, and MS uses it to perfection in their
ongoing campaign of FUD.

> Certainly Thomas Sterling can rework the definition as he pleases
> (he co-authored it), And I am not disparaging WCCS or
> any other clustering method. I just want to keep the credit
> where credit is due.
> So I stand as a defender of the faith, as it were.

And as a defender of the historical record against revisionism.  THAT is
worth fighting about.


> --
> Doug
>> You can build a Beowulf out of Windows. God only knows why you'd want to,
>> but
>> you can.
>> Just to invent a little bit of evidence, Thomas Sterling edited a book
>> called "Beowulf Cluster Computing with Windows"
>> http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Computing-Scientific-Engineering-Computation/dp/0262692759/ref=pd_sim_b_5/002-1371173-4594458?ie=UTF8&qid=1175531228&sr=8-1
>> It was actually two books - a "Beowulf Cluster Computing with Linux" and a
>> "Beowulf Cluster Computing with Windows". 75% of the text was the same.
>> (We
>> wrote a chapter in it - we used the same chapter, with latex macros
>> \iflinux
>> and \ifwinnt for whichever book was being built)
>> The Linux book way outsold the Windows book, and so there was no second
>> edition of the Windows book. My guess is that most everyone had the good
>> sense to say "Windows as the base OS for my cluster? No thanks"
>>>> What in your opinion is the future of such clusters?
>>>> How you compare these with the LINUX CLUSTERS?
>>> You will not find much information on this list as
>>> it mainly focuses on Linux Beowulf style clusters.
>> The parallel programming part of this list applies to Windows as
>> much as it applies to Linux (or FreeBSD or Darwin or HURD)
>> -Erik
>> !DSPAM:46113337114068298414181!

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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