[Beowulf] Beowulf - Warewulf ??

H.Vidal, Jr. hvidal at tesseract-tech.com
Wed Dec 14 17:17:41 PST 2005

Beowulf is a general description for cluster computers applied towards
compute intensive applications; typically, the computers that make up
the 'nodes' of this cluster are commodity level machines, 'ala PCs and such.
Typically, the 'node' operating system is Linux based, although it is
probably fair to say that FreeBSD and even Apple OSX based cluster
computers 'map' to the Beowulf concept. (Though Apple OSX is
not a Free-As-In-Beer OS, nor is Windows, which is (amazingly!) also
used as a cluster node OS).

Typically, the
interconnect between nodes tries to be inexpensive and highly commoditized,
'ala ethernet, although
more expensive interconnects do not preclude the use of the term Beowulf.

In general, when one refers to Beowulf clusters, the general application
is based on highly parallel applications that are generally numerically
intensive, such as Monte Carlo simulations, Finite Element Analysis,
etc. The 'data granularity' can vary so that you can be thinking about
every computer in cluster processing a different pixel value (say, in
visualization or rendering), or a subset of an image, or each computer
computes a single image in a sequence, or even a batch of images
as a subset of a larger set of images. Towards the former
range of this granularity, the paradigm approaches a 'single instruction,
multiple data' or SIMD model (though not quite) whereas towards the latter
end of this granularity spectrum, the model more closely resembles a
'batch processing' and/or MIMD/MPMD model.

Beowulf clusters, in general, do not refer to computer clusters built
around high availability applications such as pools of web or email servers.

warewulf, see http://www.warewulf-cluster.org, is a particular distribution
of Linux built up to make clusters easier (easy??) to build and install 
out from
the OS and management standpoint.

Does that help?


Rodrigo López Negrete de la Fuente wrote:
> Hello everybody,
> My name is Rodrigo, and I'm new to clustering so I've been reading about 
> it and the available tools. The thing that's been troubling me is, that 
> I haven't found what the main differences between Warewulf and Beowulf 
> are. So is there anybody that can explain it to me, or is there a page 
> where this is explained?
> Any help will be very much appreciated!!
> Thanks
> -- 
> Rodrigo López Negrete
> http://muon.blogdns.org/~rush/
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