[Beowulf] Re: how to build a small Beowulf cluster / atl. suggestion & history lesson

Ed Karns edkarns at firewirestuff.com
Mon Aug 1 08:38:52 PDT 2005


To Mr. Diepeveen's suggestions below, I would add that a more standard,  
straight forward Ethernet topography of two or more systems and an  
active Ethernet hub would be a little easier ...

Cross over cables (cross-utp cables) often have problems with older NIC  
cards = failure or erratic behavior. The presence of a decent hub (or  
multi port router or switch) can use industry standard cables (straight  
through, "non cross over" cables). This may save a world of debugging  
grief later. Besides, there are several 4-port and 5-port Ethernet hubs  
that cost just a little more than that "special" cable.

Example: Radio Shack  
F004&product%5Fid=278%2D2011 ... and ...  
F002&product%5Fid=25%2D3060 ... or checkout your local supply depot.

After years of putting these kinds of systems together, I can tell you  
that you will find that as soon as you add system #3 and #4 to your  
mix, you will have to go to a hub in any case and discard the cross  
over cable ...

Also, in order to achieve any kind of decent performance you should  
consider 10/100baseT hubs (or routers or switches) and those cross over  
cables become even more problematic as speed increases.

(Building a beowulf system is certainly a good use of your continuing  
military education and I would not hesitate in contacting your base  
supply folks for assistance in lashing several g'ment issue systems  
together. Who knows, if you become an expert in this, your advancement  
may be enhanced significantly. Mention Rear Admiral Grace Hooper,  
co-inventor of FORTRAN, BASIC and COBOL, as one of your heros: " GRACE  
/ http://www.history.navy.mil/prizes/prize2.htm / ... the Destroyer  
named in her honor has become "stealthy" and links are no longer  
overtly available.)

Ed Karns

On Monday, August 1, 2005, at 06:52  AM, beowulf-request at beowulf.org  

>    7. how to build a small Beowulf cluster
>       (Swinton, Edward L. GS-11 MAD)
> ...
>    9. Re: how to build a small Beowulf cluster (Vincent Diepeveen)
> Message: 7
> Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 12:04:50 +0900
> From: "Swinton, Edward L. GS-11 MAD" <SwintonE at korea.army.mil>
> Subject: [Beowulf] how to build a small Beowulf cluster
> Good Morning,
> I have several old computers in good shape, and wants to cluster them
> together to build a Beowulf, can you give me some guidance on the step
> involved? Thanks.
> Ed
> Edward. L. Swinton
> Staff Accountant
> 175th FINCOM, MAD
> Unit 15300, Box 17
> APO AP 96205-5300
> ------------------------------
> ------------------------------
> Message: 9
> Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2005 14:48:13 +0200
> From: Vincent Diepeveen <diep at xs4all.nl>
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] how to build a small Beowulf cluster
> To: "Swinton, Edward L. GS-11 MAD" <SwintonE at korea.army.mil>,
> 	<beowulf at beowulf.org>
> Swinton,
> All you need for the minimum beowulf is 2 old NIC's, 50 pages of  
> paper, 1
> pencil, a cross-utp cable.
> Put a NIC in each machine and connect them with the cross-utp cable.
> Now your beowulf is ready.
> Within 10 minutes your your own beowulf!
> Oh nearly forgot, the piece of paper and a pencil are to write down
> your findings in an official report, the coming month.
> Vincent

Ed Karns
USBStuff / FireWireStuff / WireLessStuf / PalmTopStuff ... and much more


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