Advice needed

Gary Stiehr gary at
Tue Sep 25 09:46:32 PDT 2001

Delcides Flávio de Sousa Jr. wrote:

 >    Hi,
 >         I'm building a Beowulf cluster ( guess you never heard that 
 > :-) and I'd really appreciate some advice on some questions.
 > 1. Is it better to get the fastest CPU or maybe something slower with 
 > memory ?

     Unless you have a large budget, you should analyze the
application(s) you are going to run on the cluster to determine the most
cost-effective way to build your cluster.

* How much RAM does your application use?
* Do you have large input files or do you generate a lot of output?
* Does your application generate a lot of disk activity during its
* Will the parallel processes in your application need to communicate often?
* and so on

A lot of terms I have used above are vague ("a lot of disk activity",
"comminicate often", etc.).  Basically, if you have some idea of how
much of each resource your application uses (disk space, RAM, processor
time, network bandwidth), you will have a better idea of the type of
hardware you need to buy.  Obviously if you have a big budget, it
doesn't hurt to get more RAM and disk space or faster processorsthan you 
will need.

Gary Stiehr
gary at

 > Thanks in advance
 > Delcides F. Sousa Jr.
 > Institute of Physics - State University of Campinas - Brazil
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