[Beowulf] Intro question

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Thu Dec 4 04:23:22 PST 2008

Oh you mention realtime information.
I assume that's stockexchange information.
In these volatile markets there is a LOT to earn with that.

Last time i discussed with some sysadmins that are busy with this  
this is all about latency to the RAM, and a LOT of ram and i/o that  
to get replaced within 2 minutes realtime when a disk fails.

What you need most likely is 2 identical machines A and B.

Fastest latency you get for now with quad socket AMDs. The quad  
socket intels with CSI aren't there yet
regrettably. Maybe end 2009.

Quad socket AMD with a mainboard that you can later upgrade the cpu's  
to shanghai core.
Initially you could start maybe even with high clocked dual cores.  
Memory controller is on die,
so the higher the clock frequency of each core, the faster the  
latency to RAM.

Equip each box with 64-128 GB ECC ddr2 ram and a BIG raid10 array U320.
Most here will know how to deal with i/o in best manner.

Then build a cluster of 2 nodes, so that
machine B runs as a backup of A, so in case of a problem with A then  
B can take over glueless.

You can build these nodes pretty cheap nowadays I saw these quad  
socket mainboards for like 800 euro
and really a lot of dimm slots.

Question is how fast you want to replace the disks. If you really  
want personnel that
replaces 'em within 2 minutes and not a second slower, if a disk  
breaks, that's gonna be costly.

In any case the network between the 2 nodes is pretty important.

Good luck,

On Dec 2, 2008, at 12:05 PM, malcolm croucher wrote:

> Hi  Guys ,
> I am still thinking about my cluster and most probably will only  
> begin development next year june/july .
> Question :
> If i develop my system on  10 computers (nodes) which are all  
> normal desktops and then would like to place this in data hosting  
> facility which has access to real time information . I am going to  
> need to buy new servers (thin 1 u servers ). Would this be the best  
> choice as desktops take up more space and therefore will be more  
> expensive . how do you guys get around this problem ? or dont you ?
> Regards
> Malcolm
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