[Beowulf] recommendations for cluster upgrades

richard.walsh at comcast.net richard.walsh at comcast.net
Wed May 13 08:57:23 PDT 2009

>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "Rahul Nabar" <rpnabar at gmail.com> 
>To: "Jan Heichler" <jan.heichler at gmx.net> 
>Cc: "Beowulf Mailing List" <beowulf at beowulf.org>, "Mark Hahn" <hahn at mcmaster.ca> 
>Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 10:21:06 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central 
>Subject: Re: Re[2]: [Beowulf] recommendations for cluster upgrades 
>On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 1:55 AM, Jan Heichler <jan.heichler at gmx.net> wrote: 
>> I'm really surprised that everyone just screams "Nehalem" - of course the 
>> platorm is the fastest that you can buy for money at the moment. It is the 
>> youngest design so that is not suprising. 
>> But clustering is always about price/performance. And AMD doesn't look so 
>> bad there. 
>Absolutely. The price/performance ratio is what I'm really interested in. 

Of course, neither the numerator or denominator here are atomic.  In particular, 
performance must refer to sustained performance on your application(s). I would 
expect bandwidth intensive applications to show enough of an advantage on 
Nehalem to compensate for the difference in processor price; on the other hand 
if you are planning a socket-only upgrade, the result might be different.  This  
is an occasion to break out Excel, and crunch your numbers.  In addition, 
I would consider the average processor count of the your work load.  If it typically 
does not exceed your current system size, running two clusters with different 
architectures as a throughput engine might make sense.  


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