[Beowulf] What's the category of Beowulf among Clusters?

Lux, James P james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Sat Dec 20 16:08:00 PST 2008

On 12/20/08 8:48 AM, "Eric Liang" <eric.l.2046 at gmail.com> wrote:

> First of all, sorry for sending mails by  the address:
> start2046 at gmail.com. Just like the pgp signature says , I use that one
> in my country(yes,china).
> Lux, James P wrote:
>> On 12/20/08 6:41 AM, "Liang Yupeng" <start2046 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Lux, James P wrote:
>>>> I've been looking over the Beowulf book by Seamus Heaney, and I can't find
>>>> any reference to clus
>> http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-New-Verse-Translation-Bilingual/dp/0393320979te
>> rs
>> in it, so maybe Wikipedia has been misled? Perhaps
> the amzon said:
> Looking for something?
> We're sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on
> our site

Interesting.. In any case, the book is a recent new translation of the epic
poem written around 1000 years ago. Much more readable, but also of no
connection to beowulf (the cluster computing).
> Maybe I've read the story on wiki and somebody have talk about why use
> the name(beowulf) in this list(IIRC). :-P

You'd have to ask Don Becker about that. He chose the name when he built the
first one a few years ago.  http://www.beowulf.org/ has a little history.

>>> Maybe I didn't get you (sorry for that), it looks like that your
>>> explanation on Beowulf  not the category about it but the description.
>>> Thank you all the same.
>> True enough.. But I'm not sure that developing a HPC taxonomy adds value to
>> the process of doing the computation, or, more to the point, to selecting an
>> appropriate way to solve one's particular computational needs.
> Yes, if I've decided use beowulf(or another one), but how can I make the
> decision if I couldn't tell the differences of the cluster softwares?

Oh.. That's a bit more difficult. And, you're right, the Wikipedia entry
isn't necessarily the best way to go about it.  Asking here on the list is
probably a better way. If you describe your problem, then folks will most
likely respond with their opinions of what sort of computational
architecture is well suited.  Opinions WILL differ, but I think everyone
here will justify their opinion (some at more length than others) and you
can use that to see if it's applicable to your particular problem.

> Hmm, I didn't mean that. I put the question here just because the wiki's
> explanations have puzzled me, and  IMO, this mailling list is a
> appropriately place where most fellows should have the related
> knowledge.

You've got that right.  This *is* the place to ask.

> For me, if I am *interested* in one software, I'll learn more
> and more details about it and compare it to the others, not just use
> it.If I have offended you,I ask your pardon.
> Many thanks for your reply and the books.

Gosh.. No offense at all. But you should be aware that "beowulf" is a fairly
generic description of a general approach to computing, so there's no
"Beowulf software" in the sense of a particular installable program or set
of programs or a Linux distro.

Check out Robert G. Brown's book online.. (there's a link on the
http://www.beowulf.org/ site, if you can't find it elsewhere)


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