[Beowulf] How to configure a cluster network

Lombard, David N dnlombar at ichips.intel.com
Fri Jul 25 07:29:42 PDT 2008

On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 10:18:40PM -0700, Mark Hahn wrote:
> > This reminds me to ask about all the Xen questions.... Virtual machines
> > (sans dynamic migration) seem to address the inverse of the problem that
> > MPI and other computational clustering solutions address.   Virtual machines
> > assume that the hardware is vastly more worthy than the OS and application
> > where Beowulf style clustering exists because the hardware is one N'th what is necessary
> > to get to the solution.
> I don't agree.  virtualization is a big deal because so many servers
> run at low duty cycles (utilization).  VM lets you overlap them in time
> while preserving the fiction that they're on separate machines.  this
> is perfect for latency-tolerant operations (like anything involving
> humans...).  virtualization is a throughput thing.

That fiction also permits the guests to run disparate OS stacks and permits
software to live on when the host that ran it falls over.  Finally, the fiction
permits moving guests from one physical host to another.

All good qualities for suitably chosen apps.

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

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