[Beowulf] New member, upgrading our existing Beowulf cluster

Hearns, John john.hearns at mclaren.com
Wed Dec 2 10:26:28 PST 2009

I'm a new member to this list, but the research group that I work for has had a working cluster for many years. I am now looking at upgrading our current configuration. 


Go for a new cluster any time.  Upgrading is fraught with pitfalls – keep that old cluster running till it dies, but look at a fresh new machine.

Nehalem is around now, and you can get a lot of power in a single node, not to mention GPUs.

Mixing modern multi-core hardware with an older OS release which worked with those old disk drivers and Ethernet drivers will  be a nightmare.



I was wondering if anyone has actual experience with running more than one node from a single power supply. Even just two boards on one PSU would be nice. We will be using barely 200W per node for 50 nodes and it just seems like a big waste to buy 50 power supply units. I have read the old posts but did not see any reports of success.

Look at the Supermicro twin systems, they have two motherboards in 1U or four motherboards in 2U.

I believe HP have similar.                            

Or of course any of the blade chassis – Supermicro, HP, Sun and dare I say it SGI.

On a smaller scale you could look at the ‘personal supercomputers’ from Cray and SGI.

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