[Beowulf] What can a HS student do with a small Beowulf?

Jess Cannata jac67 at georgetown.edu
Tue May 23 12:06:58 PDT 2006

Beowulf clusters (computational clusters) are much more useful if you 
have a problem that needs a lot of processing power/time and that can be 
broken apart either as a distributed or parallel job. Molecular 
modeling, rendering, and protein/gene searching are some good examples 
of this type of problem. There are other types of clusters such as, 
high-availability web and database clusters that serve different 
purposes than Beowulf clusters.

Of course, I think that there is educational value to building a test 
cluster even if you have no computationally intensive jobs to run on it. 
It can definitely help you to better understand Linux and its associated 
packages. And who knows, it might even get you interested in parallel 


sNAAPS eLYK wrote:
> Hello, I'm Kyle Spaans, finishing my last year of highschool in 
> Northern Ontario, Canada, and I'm a budding Linux user. Also being a 
> computer geek I've got lots of computers lying around my house. Since 
> I'll soon have the summer ahead of me before heading off to 
> Post-Secondary [uWaterloo], I've got one quick question.
> Hypothetically speaking, I manage to get a small number of computers 
> together in a working cluster, but now what can I do with it? 
> Folding at Home is my main computing hobby, but I already know what it 
> won't take advantage in a cluster. I also don't do any kind of 
> rendering or any large scale content creation, nor is writing computer 
> programs a skill that I have.
> So, as far as I can see, hosting game servers or a few other kinds of 
> servers [ventrilo, web, ftp, streaming media], and having a sense of 
> pride in accomplishment are the only things that I'll get by building 
> a beowulf cluster. Is this more or less true, or am I missing something?
> PS - if there is info about this that I obviously failed to find in my 
> searches, please tell me so!
> Thanks for your time!
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