[Beowulf] Network considerations for new generation cheap beowulfcluster

Larry Stewart larry.stewart at sicortex.com
Thu May 24 09:05:04 PDT 2007

Peter St. John wrote:

> This led me to SUNMOS (OS for parallel processing, Sandia's 
> alternative for the aforementioned intel 
> PSC descendants) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUNMOS. Sandia's page 
> looks like real progress for inertial containment sustainable 
> thermonuclear fusion, which really wouuld be super duper cool, fuel 
> your zeppelin with seawater, but I can't find latter-day references to 
> SUNMOS. Anybody know what became of it

I don't know what happened to SUNMOS, but the intellectual descendents 
of it are the microkernels like L4
and particularly the FASTOS project, see http://www.cs.unm.edu/~fastos/

There's a group who think that full function OSs like Linux are 
unnecessary or wasteful for clusters. The arguments
include virtual memory being unneeded or slow and OS activity ("OS 
noise") limiting scaling of applications.

As a consequence, you see things like BlueGene/L with a microkernel on 
the compute nodes and Linux on the I/O nodes.

I don't necessarily believe the arguments, but I like tinkering with a 
new tricked out OS as well
as the next guy.

Just for fun, I tracked down who said "When you hear 'virtual', you 
should think 'slow'." -- it was Dave Clark of MIT.


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