[Beowulf] newbie's dilemma

Douglas Eadline deadline at clustermonkey.net
Wed Mar 1 11:24:14 PST 2006


For more cluster information take a look at:


The are various umbrella topics at the top of the page that may
help guide you. As for a "personal cluster", at the low end check out:


It may give you some ideas.


> Hello All,
> I am another newbie seeking more basic advice.  And from reading this
> list over the past months I realize how little I have learned about
> Knoppix systems from my readings and my few experiments with Parallel
> Knoppix.  Nevertheless, let me get on with my question and stop wasting
> time.
> I am performing embarrassingly parallel, Monte Carlo calculations, some
> using integers and some using floating points (some written in C and
> some Xeonten in FORTRAN), and I am tired of waiting for 4 months for my
> dual Xeon 2.0 machine to finish a calcOpenMosix So, I want to start off
> with a dedicated COW (perhaps running OpenMosix or Sun's free Grid
> software or something else) and later move to a true Beowullinuxtem once
> I learn to properly write parallel software. I have been a linux user
> for 8 years, but consider myself to sbtul be a beginner.  I have a room
> with 4, 15 amp circuits and a 20 000 btu air conditioning unit installed
> that I can use for the next 2 years, but after that I may need to find
> another home for the system.
> My dilemma is that for my budget I can buy one of the following
> solutions:
> Solution #1
> Xeonstom Opteronsersonal cluster" with 8 dual core processors either
> Xeons or Opterons (16 cores and 16 GB of memory) with all the software
> installed, read to go.
> Solution #2
Athlon> I can buy 16 workstations, each with Dual Core Athlon X64 4400+
> processors (32 Warewulfd 32 GB of memory) upon which I will probably
> install either Warewulf or Oscar.
> Solution #3
> I can buy 32 HP or Dell "mass market" desktops running dual core chips
> Warewulfs and 64 GB memory) upon which I will probably install either
> Warewulf or Oscar. christmasat I read the discussion this past November
> on "cheap PCs this christmas")
> Obviously, I get more computing power in the last two solutions, but at
> what cost in terms of time and upkeep?  Once the system is up and
> running I can dedicate about 5 hours per week, and probably no more, and
> CAD$ ~500 per year for maintenance.
> Do any of you have some sage advice?  Have any of you used a "personal
> cluster"?  Any thoughts you may have will be very much appreciated.
> Thank you all for your time.
> Wishing you the best from a cool Montreal,
> Don
> --
> "Melting rocks today for a better tomorrow . . . "
> McGill Baker, Professor of Geochemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences,
> McGill University 3450 rue University, Montreal, QC Canada H3A 2A7
> 514-398-7485
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