[Beowulf] clusters of beagles

Charlie Peck charliep at cs.earlham.edu
Sat Jan 28 10:53:36 PST 2017

> On Jan 28, 2017, at 10:04, Lux, Jim (337C) <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:

> On 1/28/17, 6:39 AM, "Skylar Thompson" <skylar.thompson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 01/27/2017 12:14 PM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
>>> The pack of Beagles do have local disk storage (there¹s a 2GB flash on
>>> board with a Debian image that it boots from).
>>> The LittleFe depends on the BCDD (i.e. ³CD rom with cluster image²,
>>> actually a USB stick) which is the sort of thing I was hoping for, but
>>> it
>>> is x86.
>>> OTOH, maybe that¹s a pattern to start with.  the BCDD also runs out of
>>> RAM, which may or may not be a good model.
>>> An interesting challenge
>> BCCD actually does support a "liberated" mode (RAM disk copied to
>> persistent storage). We're also not tied to x86 - we actually used to
>> have a PPC port, and are considering supporting ARM now that there's
>> some educational-scale HPC platforms (small multi-core boards w/ 2+GB
>> RAM, GPGPU, wifi, on-board wired Ethernet) available.
>> Skylar
> Yes, I saw that..

The LittleFe project has tried to build systems with reasonable balance between CPU, RAM (quantity and throughput), and network speeds so that even though you were working in a small environment the general patterns of speed-up and scaling that you observed would hold when you moved to “big iron”. Until very recently that meant that the smallest form-factor board we could use was mini-ITX, nothing smaller supported multiple cores and gigabit Ethernet. More recently we have looked for on-board accelerator support as well. Now that boards like the Asus Tinker [1] board are coming out we may be able to reduce size and cost significantly. 


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