[Beowulf] vmware perfomance

Bill Broadley bill at cse.ucdavis.edu
Fri Feb 15 10:50:16 PST 2008

Frederico Aquino Carneiro wrote:
> Hi! I am new in clustering, and I want to begin with the Beowulf Cluster,
> but I have one doubt: vmware enjoy the performance of the cluster? I mean,
> using the Beowulf cluster i will have a better perfomance with the vmware??
> Will vmware work faster and better?

By it's very nature a beowulf cluster is about running applications faster 
with a collection of commodity hardware than you can by buying the old school 
larger servers from SGI, Sun, HP, and friends.   Price/performance is key.

Part of that is using open source software where you can to keep prices down, 
not to mention the ability to share the design and implementation with other 
folks.  Because most of the hardware and software isn't targeted towards 
beowulf users (a very small minority of the market) often changes are required.

For that reason I'd consider other virtualization software like kvm or xen.

Given the nasty real world realities like barges that run through power lines 
and users/codes with long runtimes that do not use/have checkpointing I can 
see virtualization being rather handy even though it does slow down compute 
bound processes.

Has anyone measured the performance difference of a compute bound job with xen 
or vmware, I'd imagine it's well under 10%, but I haven't measured it personally.

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