[Beowulf] SiCortex experience anyone?

Gerry Creager gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Tue May 27 12:43:26 PDT 2008

Mark Hahn wrote:
>> Does anyone have any experience with SiCortex machines? Any thoughts? 
>> They look cool and they don't use much power but I wonder how they 
>> compare to blade type systems.
> eh?  blade systems are just tweaks for packaging and cable-management.
> I don't believe they have much if any advantage over well-designed 
> non-blade hardware.  or did you mean that both blades and sicortex are 
> basically boutique approaches, as opposed to fungible/commodity?

SiCortex != blades.  And != beowulf in the sense of "commodity" hardware 
implementations, although the guts of a blade might make that argument.

>> I know they are not Beowulfs but being distributed memory machines I 
>> figured someone here might have real-world experience with one.
> I think it's still a beowulf if you apply "the beowulf approach" (linux 
> and open-source HPC clustering) to non-commodity hardware.
> we still have a beowulf of Compaq ES40 alphas, for instance.

SiCortex is not too far from the Beowulf concept but is possibly closer 
to a packaged single DM entity.  I'd thought of it as a low-power, low 
heat (DM) HPC system without ever considering the beowulfness of it.  It 
uses Linux and MPI, so it meets my needs in that regard.  It's low-power 
and thus lower heat; these are good.  It's slower than current PC class 
hardware.  Bad selection for me at this point.

Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.862.3982 FAX: 979.862.3983
Office: 1700 Research Parkway Ste 160, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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