[Beowulf] Building new cluster - estimate

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Wed Aug 6 18:05:01 PDT 2008

Eric Thibodeau wrote:

> And select the main stuff (HDD drivers) as built in and don't fsck 
> around with the initrd stuff, that's only usefull for kernels that need 
> to be generic and adapt to all hardware (ie: install CDs)...other than 
> that, monolithic a kernel works fine ;)

Advantage of modules is you can upgrade them without upgrading the 
kernel.  Go ahead, build in that e1000 driver.  I dare yah... :(

More to the point it does give some good flexibility for end users with 
a need to keep the core "separate" from the drivers for maintenance.

Initrd is subtle and quick to anger.  One must use burnt offerings to 
placate the spirits of initrd.

Well, it would be a heck of a lot nicer if the tools were a little more 
forgiving ... Oh you don't have this driver in your initrd ... ok ... 
PANIC (mwahahahaha)

> <rant>
> ...and such. I'd tell you to use the Gentoo Clustering LiveCD but that's 
> work in progress...you could still build the cluster using Gentoo...if 
> you're performance savvy...and want things like OpenMP capable compiler 

I have been hearing claims like this for a long time.  I have not seen 
any real tests that back these claims up.  Do you have any?  Most of the 
arguments I have heard are "oh but its compiled with -O3" or whatever. 
Any decent HPC code person will tell you that that is most definitely 
not a guaranteed way to a faster system ...

> (gcc-4.3.1, or ICC ;) ) _integrated_ into your system (not a hackish 

Er... We often use several different compilers in several different 
trees.  Several gccs, pgi, icc, eieio ... you name it.  All are 

> afterthought of an RPM that pulls in a new glibc that breaks the install 

Er ... not the slightest clue as to what you are talking about.  I 
haven't seen gcc, icc, pgi, ... touch our glibc.

Maybe I am missing the fun.  Which ICC version is this?  Which gcc is 
this, which glibc is this?

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 734 786 8452
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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