[Beowulf] Are You Ready for "Intel Cluster Ready"

Lombard, David N dnlombar at ichips.intel.com
Wed Jun 27 14:19:37 PDT 2007

On Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 09:30:22AM -0400, Douglas Eadline wrote:
> Intel has announced their new "Cluster Ready"
> program. I have a short write-up with links on
> Cluster Monkey.
> http://www.clustermonkey.net//content/view/204/1/
> It is an Intel centric spec for clusters. A "good thing"
> in general I think, though I have concerns. (read the post)

The "Intel Wall" that you mention in your article strictly refers to the
*runtime* components, which are freely downloadable directly from
intel.com.  Our motivation is to ensure that customers and ISVs can rely
on a specific set of capabilities, and not have to wonder if they're
present.  Also, note that while those specific runtimes must be present,
there's no requirement that applications must use them; there's also no
intention of excluding any other compilers, MPI implementations,
kernel libraries, &etc.

Perhaps more to the point, the spec requires that applications which do
use packages outside the spec make sure they install those "extra"
packages too, in a way that doesn't interfere with other applications on
the cluster.  The problems being addressed here are applications
interfering with each other, e.g, by installing conflicting utilities or
libraries without clear separation.

Finally, you will also note the spec doesn't discuss *how* the cluster
is built or what management tools are present.  We've tried very hard to
- open source and proprietary stacks
- diskful and diskless nodes
- fully distributed and SSI kernels
- "Enterprise" or community distros
In the best of all possible worlds, we'll see certified clusters built
in all those combinations, and more.

David N. Lombard, Intel, Irvine, CA
I do not speak for Intel Corporation; all comments are strictly my own.

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