[Beowulf] Please help to setup Beowulf

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Mon Feb 16 20:27:46 PST 2009

On Mon, 16 Feb 2009, Indrajit Deb wrote:

> Hello,
> I want to setup beowulf for my eight node cpu to run simulation. Debian 4.0
> is installed in each cpu. I am not familiar with beowulf. If any one help me
> to setup beowulf for the begining to the end i will be grateful.
> Thanks.

Can you give us more details?

   a) How many systems (boxes with network interconnects)?  A "node" is
usually a single box that can hold anywhere from 1 to 4 CPUs (or even
more) -- but it usually has only one, sometimes two, network
interconnects.  A "cpu" nowadays can have anywhere from 1 to 4 cores,
with more on the way soon.  So your "eight node cpu" is a bit ambiguous.
It might mean a single box and 8 cores or 8 boxes with a single core
each or anything in between.

   b) If it is many boxes, what kind of network do you have?  100 Mpbs
Ethernet?  Gbps Ethernet?  Something else?

   c) How much storage, memory, etc per node?

   d) What is your actual simulation?  How does it work?  Is it an MPI
application, or something that runs independently?

   e) Anything else that might help us help you.

Right now the short answer for a vanilla starter cluster is:  Connect
your systems via a switched network on a private IP subnet, setup a
shared common account space and remote mounted (e.g. NFS) working
directories from a shared server.  Make sure all nodes have libraries,
make sure that development nodes or your front ends have programming
tools and libraries and compilers.

The write or install your application(s) and run it(them).

Really, that's all there is to it.


> Indrajit Deb
> Research Scholar.
> Dept. of Biophysics, Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics
> Calcutta University
> Kolkata
> India
> Ph. +919239202278

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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