Next Scyld Release

John Berninger John_Berninger at
Fri Jul 20 08:18:32 PDT 2001

I just got an educational price quote from Scyld Computing Corp., and
although I'm hesitant to give actual dollar numbers, I can sat that the
education prices are very attractive.

        The base system, as on the web site, is $249.  It comes with the
installation CD and Installation Guide - no support, no other
documentation.  The prices for support are based on a per-processor
model, but from what I understand of the support structure, that
actually translates directly to a number of hours per year for the
system.  For example, on a 4-node cluster, at the full support price,
you get 30 minutes of support per processor, which equals two hours of
telephone support per year; I'm assuming you can use those two hours any
way you wish and don't have to use 30 minutes per individual processor.
The supported product also comes with a bound documentation set, which
is all the reason I need to order the full product.

        Again, I'm loathe to give actual numbers, but I will say that
the per-node cost of the full product at educational discounts was
very attractive.

        I would however like to see the option of buying only the
documentation set, without having to purchase actual support for a
cluster; if anyone at Scyld Computing Corp is on this list, please see
what can be done - I know NCSU would buy several copies of the
documentation if it were available as a separate item.

On Fri, 20 Jul 2001, David Vos wrote:

> Is they system being released under open source, or is it only available
> as the boxed set? I would love to be able to order a $10 CD from
> to have a look at it.
> I really couldn't figure out what all of the advantages were of the
> Professional vs. the Basic Edition.
> Do you know of any academic pricing?  I don't know if we have much of a
> budget available.  Lots of people on this list would be interested.
> If we have a 16node cluster + 1 master = 17 computers, would we need to
> get the 32 Processor license?  (probably a question I should ask your
> sales team)
> I can understand charging for the system, since it is geared to larger
> installations -- not the pile of junk in my basement.  You need to turn a
> profit on all of your work.  I've always felt bad using this list as a
> Scyld support list.
> David
> On Wed, 18 Jul 2001, Sean Dilda wrote:
> > This hit our website this morning and I thought I'd forward it along
> > since so many have been wondering about our next release.  The list of
> > new features is down near the bottom of the press release.  It's not
> > mentioned in the press release, but this next release also includes all
> > the Red Hat errata (minus rpm4), including a kernel based off of Red
> > Hat's 2.2.19 errata kernel.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Scyld Computing Corporation Releases Latest Professional Version of Next
> > Generation Beowulf Clustering
> > 
> > ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 18, 2001) - Scyld Computing Corporation today
> > released the Scyld Beowulf Professional Edition, the latest version of
> > its next generation cluster operating system software. Professional
> > Scyld Beowulf greatly simplifies cluster setup, integration and
> > administration, while providing seamless scalability. Coupled with
> > documentation and support from the original Beowulf development team,
> > Professional Scyld Beowulf provides the first true clustering solution
> > that can be installed and run directly out of the box.
> > 
> > Beowulf cluster systems connect a series of computers together, using a
> > modified version of Linux, to form a parallel processing supercomputer.
> > The Scyld Beowulf Operating System improves upon traditional Beowulf
> > clusters as all operations performed on the linked cluster nodes are
> > initiated and administered through a single master node. Its Single
> > System Image (SSI) design makes the cluster act and feel like a single
> > computer. This drastically simplifies maintenance and eliminates common
> > pitfalls of clustering such as version skew and runaway jobs. Scyld
> > Beowulf only needs to be installed on one master node and will run
> > clusters of hundreds of compute nodes. Professional Scyld Beowulf is a
> > complete software system. No other software is required to create the
> > cluster.
> > 
> > For industries such as energy, biotechnology and finance, there is
> > growing commercial demand for High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters.
> > Companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to analyze enormous
> > amounts of data. One example of this demand is in the petroleum
> > industry, where 3-D seismic modeling is used to locate oil fields.
> > Because large amounts of data must be processed to create an image of a
> > complex geology, seismic modeling is a very compute-intensive process.
> > Such imaging turns raw, unprocessed data into a coherent image that
> > accurately depicts the situation below the earth's surface, saving
> > millions in reduced exploration and drilling costs and improved
> > production.
> > 
> > Scyld Beowulf has distinct price advantages over traditional Symmetric
> > Multiprocessing (SMP) or vector supercomputers. Using commodity servers
> > and hardware components, a Scyld Beowulf based system can provide the
> > same amount of computing power at 10%-50% of the cost. Continued savings
> > are realized by the reduced costs of supporting a broad-based operating
> > system as compared to the expensive maintenance contracts required for
> > proprietary operating systems of traditional SMP or vector
> > supercomputers. Companies can save even more by leveraging their
> > existing hardware and installing Scyld Beowulf, allowing them to set up
> > a cluster system for a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. In
> > addition, Scyld Beowulf's simplified master node installation and
> > administration eliminates the administrative costs and potential risks
> > inherent in other HPC clusters that require nodes to be administered
> > separately.
> > 
> > Donald Becker, Scyld's founder and Chief Technology Officer, and other
> > Scyld developers were the original architects of Beowulf computing while
> > working at NASA as research scientists. That same team has improved and
> > adapted the technology for the commercial market, using the same
> > exacting standards for software engineering, development, quality
> > control, test methodologies and support that NASA uses to ensure
> > successful missions. The result is Professional Scyld Beowulf.
> > 
> > "Our mission at Scyld is to create software that will bring cost
> > effective, easily managed, high-performance computing to the commercial
> > marketplace", said Becker. "The new features in this release add
> > significantly to our existing standard upon which high performance
> > cluster applications have been developed. This new release will further
> > stimulate deployment of turn-key commercial applications".
> > 
> > Scyld has formed and is in the process of forming partnerships and
> > alliances with many clustering industry leaders including, Compaq,
> > Arrow/Wyle, API, Penguin Computing, GIGABYTE Server Group, PSSC Labs,
> > Aspen Systems, Atipa Technologies, RLX Technologies, CFI, Racksaver,
> > eLinux, Cendio Systems, Western Scientific, VA Linux, and Myricom.
> > amongst others. Scyld works closely with its partner's hardware systems
> > to certify seamless operation of hardware platforms such as Compaq's
> > Proliant DL380 and DL360 servers, Compaq's DS10 series AlphaServers,
> > API's CS20 and UP2000+, Penguin Computing's servers, RLX Technologies'
> > System 324 Blade technology, and Intel's ServerBoards. In addition,
> > Scyld has partners and alliances with traditional parallel application
> > and tool providers such as, MPI Software Technology Inc., Veridian
> > PBS-Pro, Wolfram Mathematica, NAG, Absoft, Lahey, Backbone Networks,
> > NAMD, CHARMM, and TurboGenomics. Scyld has a formal channel program to
> > authorize and train value added resellers to provide off-the-shelf,
> > fully integrated and supported turnkey cluster systems.
> > 
> > New enhancements on the latest Professional Version include, full Alpha
> > support including simplified installation tools, full Myrinet and
> > Gigabit Ethernet support, the Scyld Beowulf Batch Queue system (BBQ),
> > automatic node addition, web based administration and job monitoring,
> > advanced hardware health and status monitoring, Parallel Virtual File
> > System (PVFS), NFSv3, and ROMIO file systems, updated MPIch library, and
> > much more. For detailed pricing and more information visit the Scyld
> > website at
> > 
> > Professional Scyld Beowulf comes bundled with one year of support from
> > the original development team and full documentation. The professional
> > documentation set includes: Installation, System Administration, Users
> > Guide, and Programmers Reference information. In addition, Scyld offers
> > Beowulf clustering certification training from the original Scyld
> > Beowulf developers.
> > 
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Thank you,
John Berninger

Systems Administrator		John_Berninger at
Department of Mathematics	Box 8205, Harrelson Hall
NC State University		Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone:  (919)515-6315		Fax:	(919)515-3798

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