FW: [Beowulf] about concept of beowulf clusters

Alex Vrenios alex at DSRLab.com
Thu Feb 24 12:48:13 PST 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org 
> [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of rmiguel at usmp.edu.pe
> Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 7:51 AM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: [Beowulf] about concept of beowulf clusters
> Hi, i have a doubt about the strict concept of Beowulf 
> cluster. Is a cluster build with comodity hardware only?.. 
> what's up when i build a cluster using some tools as OSCAR, 
> or ROCKS, etc on servers or using some kind of high speed networks?.
> If I have two Alpha servers with Linux and open source 
> software conected by a high speed network.. is this a beowulf 
> cluster?.
> Thanks for your answers ..
A mid-1990s paper (I'll dig it out if necessary) described differences
between Beowulf and Beowulf II systems. The initial thrust had high ideals
and essentially put Linux and Beowulf clusters in the limelight. I didn't
follow the argument very well, but my "feeling" from that distinction was
the reality of a comparitively slow external data network caused them to
relax the restrictions when it came to networking hardware and software.
Keeping these things in balance is hard to do when the high-end store parts
are at Gigabit Ethernet and 3+ GHz processors.

Early Beowulf clusters, in my opinion, were out to see what could be done
with off-the-shelf components, and it was an inspiration to many of us
without the US Treasury behind our projects.


P.S. Have a look through Issue #100 of Linux Journal for further info. It
had follow-ups to earlier introductory articles on Beowulfs, and that
earlier issue number is referenced there.

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