[Beowulf] Building new cluster - estimate

Ivan Oleynik iioleynik at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 20:18:51 PDT 2008


Thanks for your comments.

> >
> > > 2. reasonably fast interconnect (IB SDR 10Gb/s would suffice our
> > > computational needs (running LAMMPs molecular dynamics and VASP DFT
> codes)
> > > 3. 48U rack (preferably with good thermal management)
> >
> > "thermal management"?  servers need cold air in front and unobstructed
> > exhaust.  that means open or mesh front/back (and blanking panels).
> >
> Agreed.  However depending on the location if space is tight you could
> think of an APC rack with the heavy fan exhaust door on th rear, and
> vent the hot air.

Space is not tight. Computer room is quite spacious but air conditioning is
rudimental, no windows or water lines to dump the heat. It looks like a big
problem, therefore, consider to put the system somewhere else on campus,
although this is not quite convenient.

> > > - 2x Intel Xeon E5420 Hapertown 2.5 GHz quad core CPU         :
>  2x$350=$700
> > > - Dual LGA 771 Intel 5400 Supermicro mb
>  :
> > > $430
> I'd recommend looking at the Intel Twin motherboard systems for this
> project. Leaves plenty of room for cluster head node, and RAID arrays, a
> UPS and switches.
> Supermicro have these motherboards with onboard Infiniband, so no need
> for extra cards.
> One thing you have to think about is power density - it is no use
> cramming 40 1U systems into a rack plus switches and head nodes - it is
> going to draw far too many amps. Think two times APC PDUs per cabinet at
> the very maximum. The Intel twins help here again, as they have a high
> efficiency PSU and the losses are shared between two systems. I'm not
> sure if we would still have to spread this sort of load between two
> racks - it depends on the calculations.
> You also need to put in some budget for power - importantly - air
> conditioning.
Many thanks, this is very exciting opportunity. I can get 20 1-U units in
42U rack, a lot of space for thermal management and other infrastructure
items. Do you know any system integrators that can build 40-node cluster
from Supermicro twin units? Are there similar solutions for AMD cpus?
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