philosipical question

Fredrik Augustsson hamlet at
Mon Jul 17 00:50:30 PDT 2000

On Sat, Jul 15, 2000 at 07:27:07PM -0400, Greg Lindahl wrote:
> > When does a Beowulf class cluster stop being a Beowulf class cluster?
> That depends on what you think a Beowulf is, of course. If you look through
> the archive of this list, you'll see a lot of views.
> > If I build a cluster using commodity hw but use a high performance
> > network, like myrinet or SCI, is it still a Beowulf?
> What makes you think high performance networks aren't commodity hardware?
> SCI is a standard, and there are multiple vendors who make components.
> Myrinet is also an ANSI standard, but only one vendor builds it.
> Neither is "mass market". But to some people, they are commodity. To others,
> they aren't what Beowulf are about. So you see odd things, sometimes, of
> people buying gigabit ethernet because it's "commodity", while having bought
> Myrinet would have given them more bang for their buck.

That is one of the most important questions. Have I bought too much hw
for my NIC (or any other component for that matter). The story of the 
weakest link fits in here. 

Well, I'm gonna claim that my PC-hw cluster with a high performance NIC
system is a beowulf class system. 

And finaly, a little advise to you who is going to build a beowulf
cluster. If you need fast communication, low latency and high bandwidth,
atleast look at theis high performance solutions. You _can_ get so much
more 'bang for your buck', if you depend on high bandwidth and low

(slightly of topic)
Advise #2; Some Swedish wisdom - Den bittra smaken av den dåliga
kvaliten finns kvar långt efter att sötman av det billiga priset
And in (some form of) English - The bitter tast of the low quality stays 
much longer than the sweet tast of the low price.   

What I'm trying to say is that cheap isn't always good. We bought
cheapest possible, and is still paying the price =(. 

> By the way, I believe Don Becker considers his Myrinet-using clusters
> Beowulfs, but you'll have to ask him.
> -- g

Ps; If you wanna know which high performance NIC we bought, please ask
me, 'cause I dont think this mailinglist should be used for 'advertising'. 
But I can tell you, they work great! 

+ hamlet 

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