philosipical question

Mark Hahn hahn at
Fri Jul 14 10:39:38 PDT 2000

> When does a Beowulf class cluster stop being a Beowulf class cluster?

when you spend a significant fraction of your budget 
on non mass-market hardware.  

IMO, of course, and I know I'm presenting an ultra-orthodox position,
but that's the whole point of philosophy.  purity not practicality ;)

to me the point of Beowulf is the hack factor: 
using mundane hardware that's been cheapened by volume production
to do work traditionally done with very specialized, expensive boxes.

> If I build a cluster using commodity hw but use a high performance
> network, like myrinet or SCI, is it still a Beowulf? 

I'd argue it's not, but I know most Beowulfers would disagree.
I'd even argue that SCSI, because of it's prepetual 2-3x premium,
is not beowulf material.

sure, Ultra160 is way cool, as is Myri2, as are 21264's.  
but you won't find any of them in my local computer store...

regards, mark hahn.

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