[Beowulf] help on building Beowulf

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Mon Nov 19 21:32:11 PST 2007

> I don't think Myrinet is a good idea.


> If you budget is not a problem, try QLogic's products or Mellanox's
> ones. Myrinet maybe cheap but in low reliability.

I'm surprised to hear this - are you talking about 2g or 10g?
the list price of myri 2g is about $450/port (nic+switch+cable)

I'm also interested to hear your statistics on reliability. 
my organization has ~10 myri 2g clusters (600-650 nodes),
installed over the past 4 years, and have had few problems.

we don't have any myri 10G hardware - have you had problems with 
their 10G nics or switches?

> I prefer to use opensource software with our re-development for our
> projects. And generally, re-development will give us flexibility to manage
> algorithms and optimizations.

it's all about your research focus.  if you're pushing the edge of 
computational technique, you look to full-custom software.  if your 
computation is mainly just an adjunct to lab work, you look for an
shrink-wrapped application (which, like it or not, are more commonly
commercial - consider gaussian vs nwchem/etal)

>>  I am thinking of building a Beowulf of 17 dual-core nodes, one head node

any purchase today should definitely consider quad-core cpus.

regards, mark hahn.

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