[Beowulf] Three notes from ISC 2006

Kevin Ball kball at pathscale.com
Wed Jun 28 14:29:12 PDT 2006

On Wed, 2006-06-28 at 13:41, Erik Paulson wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 28, 2006 at 04:25:40PM -0400, Patrick Geoffray wrote:
> > 
> > I just hope this will be picked up by an academic that can convince 
> > vendors to donate. Tax break is usually a good incentive for that :-)
> > 
> How much care should be given to the selection of the nodes? Performance
> is a function of both the nodes and the interconnect - so while your 
> test cluster allows for direct comparisons of the interconnects it's only
> for a cluster of AMD processors, or for Intel processors. 

Prior to Woodcrest, I would have said AMD 100%.  Now?  Its hard to say. 
I think AMD nodes will still tend to do better at scaling and show
interconnects in a better light than Intel nodes, but Woodcrest
performance looks like it may be good enough to at least make things
competitive for all but the largest clusters.

> I could imagine there would be academic sites that would host this
> thing, and possibly even spring for the nodes, provided that the
> interconnects were donated and they got to use it when it's not in
> use (and probably had some promise that no more than X% of the time
> would the cluster be in "benchmark" mode)

This is very possible... especially if the benchmarking results were
interesting enough to pull some papers out of.


> -Erik, not legally authorized to volunteer the University of Wisconsin to
> host any such thing.

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